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Posted: Mar 27, 2015 - 6:53pm

TSA’s Secret Behavior Checklist to Spot Terrorists - The Intercept

A TSA spokesperson declined to comment on the criteria obtained by The Intercept. “Behavior detection, which is just one element of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) efforts to mitigate threats against the traveling public, is vital to TSA’s layered approach to deter, detect and disrupt individuals who pose a threat to aviation,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Since its introduction in 2007, the SPOT program has attracted controversy for the lack of science supporting it. In 2013, the Government Accountability Office found that there was no evidence to back up the idea that “behavioral indicators … can be used to identify persons who may pose a risk to aviation security.” After analyzing hundreds of scientific studies, the GAO concluded that “the human ability to accurately identify deceptive behavior based on behavioral indicators is the same as or slightly better than chance.”

The inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security found in 2013 that TSA had failed to evaluate SPOT, and “cannot ensure that passengers at United States airports are screened objectively, show that the program is cost-effective, or reasonably justify the program’s expansion.”

Despite those concerns, TSA has trained and deployed thousands of Behavior Detection Officers, and the program has cost more than $900 million since it began in 2007, according to the GAO.


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Posted: Mar 25, 2015 - 10:49am

UK Police Deem Snowden Leak Investigation a State Secret - The Intercept
British police claim a criminal investigation they launched into journalists who have reported on leaked documents from Edward Snowden has to be kept a secret due to a “possibility of increased threat of terrorist activity.” (...)

Validation. You're doing it...
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Posted: Mar 23, 2015 - 7:52am

Communication Security Establishment's cyberwarfare toolbox revealed
Mexico, North Africa, Middle East among targets of cyber-spy hacking

Top-secret documents obtained by the CBC show Canada's electronic spy agency has developed a vast arsenal of cyberwarfare tools alongside its U.S. and British counterparts to hack into computers and phones in many parts of the world, including in friendly trade countries like Mexico and hotspots like the Middle East.

The little known Communications Security Establishment wanted to become more aggressive by 2015, the documents also said.

Revelations about the agency's prowess should serve as a "major wakeup call for all Canadians," particularly in the context of the current parliamentary debate over whether to give intelligence officials the power to disrupt national security threats, says Ronald Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab, the respected internet research group at University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs.

"These are awesome powers that should only be granted to the government with enormous trepidation and only with a correspondingly massive investment in equally powerful systems of oversight, review and public accountability," says Deibert.

Details of the CSE’s capabilities are revealed in several top-secret documents analyzed by CBC News in collaboration with The Intercept, a U.S. news website co-founded by Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who obtained the documents from U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden. (...)


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Posted: Feb 26, 2015 - 11:44am

Why Does the FBI Have to Manufacture its Own Plots if Terrorism and ISIS Are Such Grave Threats? - The Intercept

(...) Once again, we should all pause for a moment to thank the brave men and women of the FBI for saving us from their own terror plots.

One can, if one really wishes, debate whether the FBI should be engaging in such behavior. For reasons I and many others have repeatedly argued, these cases are unjust in the extreme: a form of pre-emptory prosecution where vulnerable individuals are targeted and manipulated not for any criminal acts they have committed but rather for the bad political views they have expressed. They end up sending young people to prison for decades for “crimes” which even their sentencing judges acknowledge they never would have seriously considered, let alone committed, in the absence of FBI trickery. It’s hard to imagine anyone thinking this is a justifiable tactic, but I’m certain there are people who believe that. Let’s leave that question to the side for the moment in favor of a different issue.


Leaked cables show spies spend more time tracking non-terrorists - The Globe and Mail
"Despite popular belief that they are chasing terrorists and master criminals, the world’s spy agencies spend much of their time pursuing environmentalists, opposition leaders, dissidents and even airline staff, leaked documents show.

The intelligence agencies, including Canadian spies, are interested in civilian targets that go far beyond terrorism, according to the latest batch of South African intelligence agency reports, leaked to Al Jazeera. Many spy agencies are more preoccupied with political activists than with terrorism, the reports show."
Big gov
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Posted: Feb 23, 2015 - 12:00pm


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Posted: Feb 23, 2015 - 9:07am

Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour wins Oscar
Soon on Channel 4 and HBO...
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Posted: Feb 19, 2015 - 2:55pm

The Great SIM Heist: How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle
AMERICAN AND BRITISH spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. (...)

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Posted: Feb 18, 2015 - 12:56am

NSA hid spying software in hard drive firmware, report says
Government, military in Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan targeted

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Posted: Feb 16, 2015 - 11:32am

How “omnipotent” hackers tied to NSA hid for 14 years—and were found at last | Ars Technica

(...) In an exhaustive report published Monday at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit here, researchers stopped short of saying Equation Group was the handiwork of the NSA—but they provided detailed evidence that strongly implicates the US spy agency.

First is the group's known aptitude for conducting interdictions, such as installing covert implant firmware in a Cisco Systems router as it moved through the mail.

Second, a highly advanced keylogger in the Equation Group library refers to itself as "Grok" in its source code. The reference seems eerily similar to a line published last March in an Intercept article headlined "How the NSA Plans to Infect 'Millions' of Computers with Malware." The article, which was based on Snowden-leaked documents, discussed an NSA-developed keylogger called Grok.

Third, other Equation Group source code makes reference to "STRAITACID" and "STRAITSHOOTER." The code words bear a striking resemblance to "STRAITBIZARRE," one of the most advanced malware platforms used by the NSA's Tailored Access Operations unit. Besides sharing the unconventional spelling "strait," Snowden-leaked documents note that STRAITBIZARRE could be turned into a disposable "shooter." In addition, the codename FOXACID belonged to the same NSA malware framework as the Grok keylogger. (...)

The money and time required to develop the Equation Group malware, the technological breakthroughs the operation accomplished, and the interdictions performed against targets leave little doubt that the operation was sponsored by a nation-state with nearly unlimited resources to dedicate to the project. The countries that were and weren't targeted, the ties to Stuxnet and Flame, and the Grok artifact found inside the Equation Group keylogger strongly support the theory the NSA or a related US agency is the responsible party, but so far Kaspersky has declined to name a culrit. NSA officials didn't respond to an e-mail seeking comment for this story.

What is safe to say is that the unearthing of the Equation Group is a seminal finding in the fields of computer and national security, as important, or possibly more so, than the revelations about Stuxnet.

"The discovery of the Equation Group is significant because this omnipotent cyber espionage entity managed to stay under the radar for almost 15 years, if not more," Raiu said. "Their incredible skills and high tech abilities, such as infecting hard drive firmware on a dozen different brands, are unique across all the actors we have seen and second to none. As we discover more and more advanced threat actors, we understand just how little we know. It also makes us reflect about how many other things remains hidden or unknown."


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Posted: Feb 13, 2015 - 8:32am


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Posted: Feb 13, 2015 - 7:54am


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Posted: Feb 12, 2015 - 11:24pm


via
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Posted: Feb 11, 2015 - 5:24pm

Western Spy Agencies Secretly Rely on Hackers for Intel and Expertise - The Intercept

The U.S., U.K. and Canadian governments characterize hackers as a criminal menace, warn of the threats they allegedly pose to critical infrastructure, and aggressively prosecute them, but they are also secretly exploiting their information and expertise, according to top secret documents.

In some cases, the surveillance agencies are obtaining the content of emails by monitoring hackers as they breach email accounts, often without notifying the hacking victims of these breaches. “Hackers are stealing the emails of some of our targets… by collecting the hackers’ ‘take,’ we . . .  get access to the emails themselves,” reads one top secret 2010 National Security Agency document. (...)


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Posted: Jan 28, 2015 - 7:27am

 miamizsun wrote:

it's not even the war on drugs anymore

it's just the war and we're the enema

 
Irony, sarcasm or auto-correct? Don't know or care, just like. 
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Posted: Jan 28, 2015 - 4:38am

 miamizsun wrote:

it's not even the war on drugs anymore

it's just the war and we're the enema

 

One might even call it a "war on you".{#Wink}
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Posted: Jan 28, 2015 - 4:34am

 RichardPrins wrote:
The DEA Is Spying on Millions of Cars All Over the U.S. - The Atlantic

Once again, Americans face a tradeoff between liberty and security. On one hand, the Drug Enforcement Administration has been building "a database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records." If you drive in populated areas your movements have very likely been tracked.

On the other hand, the result is that illegal drugs are no longer sold on U.S. streets, the price of getting high is too high for most to pay, and international drug cartels are all but gone, as are overdose deaths and street gangs that profit from narcotics.

I kid, of course—not about the huge imposition on the privacy of innocents that the federal government is perpetrating with a license plate tracking program run by the DEA, which is real, so much as the notion that the DEA will achieve success with it.

The DEA will obviously continue to lose the War on Drugs. (...)



 
it's not even the war on drugs anymore

it's just the war and we're the enema
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Posted: Jan 27, 2015 - 3:24pm

The DEA Is Spying on Millions of Cars All Over the U.S. - The Atlantic

Once again, Americans face a tradeoff between liberty and security. On one hand, the Drug Enforcement Administration has been building "a database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records." If you drive in populated areas your movements have very likely been tracked.

On the other hand, the result is that illegal drugs are no longer sold on U.S. streets, the price of getting high is too high for most to pay, and international drug cartels are all but gone, as are overdose deaths and street gangs that profit from narcotics.

I kid, of course—not about the huge imposition on the privacy of innocents that the federal government is perpetrating with a license plate tracking program run by the DEA, which is real, so much as the notion that the DEA will achieve success with it.

The DEA will obviously continue to lose the War on Drugs. (...)


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Posted: Dec 30, 2014 - 8:00pm

US and British intelligence agencies undertake every effort imaginable to crack all types of encrypted Internet communication. The cloud, it seems, is full of holes. The good news: New Snowden documents show that some forms of encryption still cause problems for the NSA.

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Posted: Dec 19, 2014 - 8:21am

Brought to You by Wikileaks: Mandela Shows Better to Kill Than Imprison
A study by the Central Intelligence Agency that evaluated the pros and cons of assassination programs has revealed significant insights into the agency’s thinking about targeted killings, including potential backlash. The study was published by Wikileaks on Thursday.

The study is titled “CIA Best Practices in Counterinsurgency” and evaluates assassination operations against the Taliban, al-Qaeda, the FARC, PLO, HAMAS and the Shining Path, among others, including those managed by other countries. (...)

"Capturing leaders may have a limited psychological impact on a group if members believe that captured leaders will eventually return to the group,” the review reads, “or if those leaders are able to maintain their influence while in government custody, as Nelson Mandela did while incarcerated in South Africa.”

Perhaps as a result of the analysis, such assassinations radically increased over the years after the publication of the 2009 booklet. The following year became “the year of the drone” with 751 people killed by UAV strikes in Pakistan alone in 2010, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

After that, however, one of the report’s prognosis seems to have come true with the radicalization of areas devastated by drone-based assassinations such as Waziristan.

“The potential negative effect of HLT (high-level targets) operations include increasing the level of insurgent support…, strengthening an armed group's bonds with the population, radicalizing an insurgent group's remaining leaders, creating a vacuum into which more radical groups can enter, and escalating or de-escalating a conflict in ways that favor the insurgents.”

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Posted: Dec 17, 2014 - 11:45am

From the moment bin Laden was killed, the CIA launched a determined new campaign to convince Congress and the public that its torture program had been key to locating bin Laden - and that the agency's operations people had tracked him down by a series of operations in which one operation yielded clues that brought still others and led ultimately to Abbottabad. That campaign ultimately extended to using the popular film Zero Dark Thirty to promote the agency's justification for torture.
"Believe it or not, entertainment is part of our American diplomacy." ~ B.O.

The CIA Didn’t Just Torture, They Experimented on Human Beings | The Nation
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