Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Unplug Companies That Help Iran and Syria Spy on Citizens

The evidence forms a high stack. U.S., European and other companies are selling technologies that enable the repressive Iranian and Syrian regimes to disrupt and monitor the Internet and track down government critics, as documented in media reports, notably by Bloomberg News. On Monday, President Barack Obama acted. He issued...

Obama Administration Set to Expand Sharing of Data That NSA Intercepts

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is on the verge of permitting the National Security Agency to share more of the private communications it intercepts with other American intelligence agencies without first applying any privacy protections to them, according to officials familiar with the deliberations. The change would relax longstanding restrictions...

Estonia Tackles Improving NATO’s Cyber Defenses

PENTAGON - These days, it seems like nowhere in the cyber realm is safe. Hacks have infiltrated all walks of cyber life, from the email system used by the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s office at the Pentagon, to the cheating spouses on the Canada-based Ashley Madison website. But the NATO Cooperative...

The Raid: In Bungled Spying Operation, NSA Targeted Pro-Democracy Campaigner

Tony Fullman is a middle-aged former tax man and a pro-democracy activist. But four years ago, a botched operation launched by New Zealand spies meant he suddenly found himself deemed a potential terrorist — his passport was revoked, his home was raided, and he was placed on a top-secret National Security Agency surveillance list.

New Study Shows Mass Surveillance Breeds Meekness, Fear and Self-Censorship

A newly published study from Oxford’s Jon Penney provides empirical evidence for a key argument long made by privacy advocates: that the mere existence of a surveillance state breeds fear and conformity and stifles free expression. Reporting on the study, the Washington Post this morning described this phenomenon: “If we think that...

IBM Concedes $600M CIA Cloud Deal To Amazon

IBM has withdrawn its challenge to Amazon's $600 million cloud-computing deal with the Central Intelligence Agency. “In light of the government’s recent submissions emphasizing its need to move forward on the contract, IBM has withdrawn its motion,” IBM said in a statement to CruxialCIO. “IBM maintains its position that the...

Memo Sheds New Light on CIA’s Network of Journalists

Most people with an interest in the history of CIA will have heard of “Operation Mockingbird” (an unofficial name), sometimes known as Frank Wisner’s “Mighty Wurlitzer,” which used a network of journalists for propaganda purposes. While the elements of Mockingbird that most people are familiar with were run through CIA’s Office...

Surprise! NSA data will soon routinely be used for domestic policing that has nothing...

A while back, we noted a report showing that the “sneak-and-peek” provision of the Patriot Act that was alleged to be used only in national security and terrorism investigations has overwhelmingly been used in narcotics cases. Now the New York Times reports that National Security Agency data will be shared with other intelligence...

Congress Slips CISA Into a Budget Bill That’s Sure to Pass

Privacy advocates were aghast in October when the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act by a vote of 74 to 21, leaving intact portions of the law they say make it more amenable to surveillance than actual security. Now, as CISA gets closer to the President’s desk, those...

NSA asked Germany to spy on tech giant Siemens: report

Berlin (AFP) - The US intelligence agency NSA asked its German partner service BND to spy on the European country's engineering and technology giant Siemens, a German newspaper reported Sunday. In the latest report on a widening spying scandal, the newspaper said the US National Security Agency (NSA) suspected that...

The CIA Is Investing in Firms That Mine Your Tweets and Instagram Photos

SOFT ROBOTS THAT can grasp delicate objects, computer algorithms designed to spot an “insider threat,” and artificial intelligence that will sift through large data sets — these are just a few of the technologies being pursued by companies with investment from In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm, according to...

Pentagon Announces New Strategy for Cyberwarfare

SAN FRANCISCO — The Pentagon on Thursday took a major step designed to instill a measure of fear in potential cyberadversaries, releasing a new strategy that for the first time explicitly discusses the circumstances under which cyberweapons could be used against an attacker, and naming the countries it says...

What NSA Director Mike Rogers Doesn’t Get About Encryption

At a New America Foundation conference on cybersecurity Monday, NSA Director Mike Rogers gave an interview that—despite his best efforts to deal exclusively in uninformative platitudes—did produce a few lively moments. The most interesting of these came when techies in the audience—security guru Bruce Schneier and Yahoo’s chief information...

CIA Preparing for Possible Cyber Strike Against Russia

The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News. Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the...

Under Amazon’s CIA Cloud: The Washington Post

News media should illuminate conflicts of interest, not embody them. But the owner of the Washington Post is now doing big business with the Central Intelligence Agency, while readers of the newspaper’s CIA coverage are left in the dark. The Post’s new owner, Jeff Bezos, is the founder and CEO of Amazon --...

America’s Willing Helper: Intelligence Scandal Puts Merkel in Tight Place

Germany's latest spying scandal has created the biggest crisis yet for the country's foreign intelligence agency. The German government appears to have been aware of widespread US spying, possibly including economic espionage, against European targets and yet it did nothing to stop it. July 14, 2013 was an overcast day....

Inside Menwith Hill: The NSA’s British Base at the Heart of U.S. Targeted Killing

The narrow roads are quiet and winding, surrounded by rolling green fields and few visible signs of life beyond the occasional herd of sheep. But on the horizon, massive white golf ball-like domes protrude from the earth, protected behind a perimeter fence that is topped with piercing razor wire. Here, in the heart of the tranquil English countryside, is the National Security Agency’s largest overseas spying base.

Israeli Entrepreneurs Play Both Sides of the Cyber Wars

Last year, the founders of an Israeli startup that sells phone hacking technology to governments realized they had not one business, but two. NSO Group, which was created by Omri Lavie and Shalev Hulio, sells offensive cyber capabilities that allow governments to remotely infect smartphones with spyware without leaving a...

DOD recruits Silicon Valley for cyber, innovation efforts

Carter unveiled his cyber strategy but displayed his doctoral thesis during his speech at Stanford. In formally unveiling the Defense Department’s new cyber strategy during a visit to the Silicon Valley Thursday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter underscored the changes in the technology and cybersecurity landscapes in recent years and said...

Insider Threat Program Inches Forward

The Department of Defense “is moving forward with the development of its insider threat and personnel security reform efforts,” wrote Michael G. Vickers, then-Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence) in an April 2015 report to Congress that was released last month under the Freedom of Information Act. “The Department recognizes...

Torture in Bahrain Becomes Routine With Help From Nokia Siemens

The interrogation of Abdul Ghani Al Khanjar followed a pattern. First, Bahraini jailers armed with stiff rubber hoses beat the 39-year-old school administrator and human rights activist in a windowless room two stories below ground in the Persian Gulf kingdom’s National Security Apparatus building. Then, they dragged him upstairs for...

Spying on Congress and Israel: NSA Cheerleaders Discover Value of Privacy Only When Their...

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the NSA under President Obama targeted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his top aides for surveillance. In the process, the agency ended up eavesdropping on “the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups” about how...

Iranian Police Seizing Dissidents Get Aid Of Western Companies

The Iranian officers who knocked out Saeid Pourheydar’s four front teeth also enlightened the opposition journalist. Held in Evin Prison for weeks following his arrest early last year for protesting, he says, he learned that he was not only fighting the regime, but also companies that armed Tehran with...

Top U.S. spy agency has not embraced CIA assessment on Russia hacking

The overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election, three American officials said on Monday. While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA's...

Hacking Team hacked: firm sold spying tools to repressive regimes, documents claim

Cybersecurity firm has 400GB of what purport to be its own documents published via its Twitter feed after hack. The cybersecurity firm Hacking Team appears to have itself been the victim of a hack, with documents that purport to show it sold software to repressive regimes being posted to the...

The good, bad, and the ugly of pending congressional surveillance bills

Heat is on: Bulk phone metadata collection program Snowden exposed expires June 1. On June 1 the legal authority enabling the National Security Agency's bulk telephone metadata collection program expires. The expiration date of Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act comes two years after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed...

Shadow Brokers: NSA Exploits of the Week

When your boy Serge is in charge of Cyber Attribution #DNCHack #InfoSec cc @Trevornoahpic.twitter.com/88prA2AjD5 — @msuiche Today an unknown group called Shadow Brokers started an auction after claiming they hacked Equation Group (NSA entity named like that by Kaspersky, and believed to be the author of Stuxnet & Flame) here: https://theshadowbrokers.tumblr.com/. The Tumblr...

Building backdoors into encryption isn’t only bad for China, Mr President

The White House wants tech companies to hand over encryption keys or build backdoors. So why is it criticizing China for wanting the same thing? Want to know why forcing tech companies to build backdoors into encryption is a terrible idea? Look no further than President Obama’s stark criticism of...

Post-Revolt Tunisia Can Alter E-Mail With Big Brother Software

In Tunisia, Big Brother goes by an alias: Ammar 404. A play on the “Error 404” message for blocked websites, Tunisian bloggers dreamed him up as a fictional front man for the sprawling surveillance state of former ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Aided directly and indirectly by American and European...

Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence

Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter. The company complied with a classified U.S. government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts...

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