Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, LinkedIn and Aol have all teamed up to oppose
widespread government surveillance. In an open letter to the US president and members of congress, the companies urge
the government to reform
its digital spy apparatus.
reactions at the Guardian.
posted by brina
on Dec 9, 2013 -
How would you, as a junior analyst in S2C41, the branch of the Signals Intelligence Directorate, navigate the millions of records logged daily, in order to find the nugget to get you noticed?
“EVILOLIVE, MADCAPOCELOT, ORANGECRUSH, COBALTFALCON, DARKTHUNDER: the names are beguiling. But they don’t always tell us much, which is their reason for existing: covernames aren’t classified, and many of them – including the names of the NSA’s main databases for intercepted communications data, MAINWAY, MARINA, PINWALE and NUCLEON – have been seen in public before, in job ads and resumés posted online.” Daniel Soar sorts through the possibilities in the London Review of Books
, 24 Oct 2013. (See also William Arkin's blog on codenames) [more inside]
posted by zbsachs
on Nov 4, 2013 -
The Spies Inside Damascus
: The Mossad's secret war on the Syrian WMD machine.
On Aug. 20, 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama declared that if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began shifting around or using his chemical weapons, Obama would consider that "a red line." The implication was that such a move would lead to American intervention in Syria. Some officials from the Israeli Foreign Ministry believed that Obama drew the line because he believed it would never be crossed. If that was his assumption, he made it based, in part, on assessments received from the Israeli intelligence services, which have waged a multidecade clandestine campaign to strip Assad of his deadliest weapons -- and which also have emerged as the United States' primary partners in collecting information on Middle Eastern regimes.
posted by andoatnp
on Sep 21, 2013 -
It doesn't matter whether you hate the spies and believe they are corroding democracy, or if you think they are the noble guardians of the state. In both cases the assumption is that the secret agents know more than we do. But the strange fact is that often when you look into the history of spies what you discover is something very different. It is not the story of men and women who have a better and deeper understanding of the world than we do. In fact in many cases it is the story of weirdos who have created a completely mad version of the world that they then impose on the rest of us.
—Bugger: Maybe the Real State Secret Is that Spies Aren't Very Good at Their Jobs and Don't Know Very Much About the World
by Adam Curtis. It's about the checkered history of the MI5.
posted by Kattullus
on Aug 9, 2013 -
During my service in the Korean military, I worked for two years as special intelligence personnel for the NSA, learning first-hand how to extract information from defense targets. Now, as a designer, I am influenced by these experiences and I have become dedicated to researching ways to “articulate our unfreedom” and to continue the evolution of my own thinking about censorship, surveillance, and a free society.
ZXX is a disruptive typeface
designed by an ex-Korean intelligence officer to prevent automated text processing. ZXX Type Specimen Video
. Project site
offers a free download (.zip, 77 KB)
posted by Foci for Analysis
on Jun 22, 2013 -
He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings "loaner" devices, which he erases before he leaves the US and wipes clean the minute he returns . In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi , never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery , for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, "Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop."
- Travel precautions in the age of digital espionage.
posted by Artw
on Feb 13, 2012 -
In March last year, the unmanned X-37B
US military spaceplane launched from Cape Canaveral on mission USA-226
, to "demonstrate various experiments", sensors and technology. Its original 270 day mission was extended in November
"as circumstances allow" for "additional experimentation opportunities", but a dedicated group of optical tracking specialists in the US and Europe believe that the X-37B is in fact spying
on the Chinese space station Tiangong-1
. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon
on Jan 5, 2012 -
... the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators. The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation's history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese
on Dec 20, 2010 -
You may have heard about Romeo Agents
, the male employees of the East German Ministry for State Security
(also known as MfS or Stasi). They were unleashed on female federal employees in West Germany, with whom they began long-term relations and then began using as sources.
That tactic has apparently been used in the United States as well; David Cay Johnston writes about the real legacy of Daryl Gates
, the former chief of the LAPD. Gates died Friday. [more inside]
posted by krautland
on Apr 17, 2010 -
Yet another 20th century English author in bed with the communists? Literally, in this case - Arthur Ransome
might be best known for his 'Swallows & Amazons' books about children sailing in the idyllic Lake District
, but before all that, he left his first wife (and a libel case that got him mixed up with Oscar Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred Douglas) to study fairy tales in Russia... only there he fell in love with Leon Trotsky's private secretary, ended up working for the Bolsheviks and also MI6. [more inside]
posted by Sifter
on Aug 13, 2009 -
Russell Tice, former NSA security analyst, just came on the Keith Olbermann show
revealing that the NSA's domestic surveillance programs were not only far greater in scope than formerly thought, but also were specifically targeted at journalists.
posted by dunkadunc
on Jan 22, 2009 -
to gather information about Americans' phone records
--... the NSA had approached the company (Qwest) about participating in a warrantless surveillance program to gather information about Americans' phone records.
...Nacchio's account, which places the NSA proposal at a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, suggests that the Bush administration was seeking to enlist telecommunications firms in programs without court oversight before the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The Sept. 11 attacks have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its warrantless surveillance efforts. ...
-- The Administration's crimes and illegal spying on all of us and Quest's punishment for not going along with their plans.
posted by amberglow
on Oct 13, 2007 -