Posts Tagged ‘national security agency’

Iran’s hacking of U.S. Navy more extensive than previously thought


Newscast Media MOSCOW—Iran’s alleged infiltration of a U.S. Navy computer network
was far more extensive than previously thought, according to officials, and the officer
who led the response will likely face questions about it from senators weighing his
nomination as the next head of the embattled National Security Agency, the Wall
Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

It took the Navy about four months to finally purge the hackers from its biggest
unclassified computer network, according to current and former officials.

Some lawmakers are concerned about how long it took. When Vice Adm. Michael
Rogers, President Barack Obama’s choice for the new NSA director, faces his
confirmation hearing, some senators are expected to ask whether there is a long-term
plan to address security gaps exposed by the attack, congressional aides said. The
hearing hasn’t been scheduled yet, but could be next month.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - February 19, 2014 at 11:42 pm

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Angry Angela Merkel calls Obama over possible tapping of her cell phone

Angela Merkel

Newscast Media BERLIN—German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called President Obama over the German government’s suspicions the US could have tapped her mobile phone. Barack Obama assured Merkel that his country is not monitoring her communications.

Earlier, the German government spokesman said that Berlin had information the US National Security Agency (NSA) could have been spying on Merkel.

“We swiftly sent a request to our American partners asking for an immediate and comprehensive clarification,” Steffen Seibert said in a statement, Reuters cites.

Berlin demanded that American authorities shed light on the scale of its spying on Germany if it took place and thus finally answer the questions that the Federal government asked “several months ago,” Seibert said.

Merkel called Barack Obama over the issue and demanded an explanation. She had made clear to Obama that if the information proved trued it would be “completely unacceptable” and represent a “grave breach of trust,” Seibert said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said that Obama assured the German leader “the United States is not monitoring the communications of the chancellor.”

Earlier this year, documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the American spy organization intercepted large amounts of data exchanged between German citizens without any legal authorization. The scandalous revelations outraged Germans and sparked widespread demonstrations in the country which is wary of surveillance, largely due to its Stasi past.

While German opposition politicians, the media and activists have been vocal in their anger over the American eavesdropping, Merkel remained restrained in her comments on the matter.

In June, during Obama’s visit to Berlin, Merkel said she was surprised by the scope of the American data collection efforts, but admitted that Germany was “dependent” on cooperation with US agencies. She said that it was thanks to “tips from American sources” that an Islamic terror plot in Germany was foiled in 2007. She added though that it was important to continue the debate about reaching “an equitable balance” between providing security and protecting personal freedoms.

Interior Ministry spokesman Jens Teschke said Wednesday the German government was still in talks with America about the spying issue.

“[But] we have recognized that many of the allegations made by Mr. Snowden can’t be substantiated, and on other issues that there was no mass surveillance of innocent citizens,” he said, as quoted by AP agency.

Source: Al Manar TV news


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - October 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm

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France backs away from challenging the US on NSA spying


Newscast Media PARIS—France does not want an escalation of the row over US snooping on millions of French citizens’ telephone communications, the government’s spokesperson said Tuesday, after a breakfast meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius.

Fabius told Kerry that the snooping, which targeted politicians, businessman and individuals with no public profile, was “unacceptable between friends and allies”.

Kerry had earlier tried to defuse the row, assuring the US’s “old ally” that Washington is reviewing its information-gathering techniques, a message that US President Barack Obama repeated in a call to French President François Hollande.

But French government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem on Tuesday seemed to indicate that Paris does not want a confrontation.

“It is up to Foreign Minister Fabius to decide what line we take but I don’t think there is any need for an escalation,” she told France 2 television. “We have to have a respectful relationship between partners, between allies. Our confidence in that has been hit but it is after all a very close, individual relationship that we have.”

Using material obtained by NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, Le Monde newspaper on Monday revealed massive interception of calls, SMS messages and keyboard strokes by the National Security Agency (NSA), which recorded more than 70 million calls in one 30-day period last year.

In further revelations on Tuesday it said that the NSA had shown particular interest in French internet provider Wanadoo and communications giant Alcatel-Mucent and had also spied on French embassies and France’s delegation to the UN.

The spying had helped the US obtain a vote on the UN Security Council in favor of more sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, one NSA internal note boasted. Operatives were instructed to use not just the Prism program, which was exposed by Snowden, but also Upstream, a system that intercepts communications on undersea cables and the world wide web.

The US defends its intelligence-gathering in the name of the fight against “terrorism” but Le Monde says that the “secrets of major national firms” had been probed as well. One document seen by the paper shows that between 8 February and 8 March the NSA collected 124.8 billion pieces of data on phone calls and 97.1 billion digital operations.

Source: Radio France Internationale


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 4:33 am

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DEA covertly uses NSA information to prosecute crime


Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Recent national security leaks have focused on NSA
mass surveillance aimed at stopping acts of terrorism. But law enforcement may be
secretly using information from intelligence agencies to prosecute organized crime.

A special unit of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has allegedly gleaned
information from National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs to prosecute
drug traffickers and organized crime, in a possible demonstration of growing
cooperation between normal law enforcement and the US national security

According to reporting by the Reuters news agency, the DEA’s Special Operations
Division (SOD) sanitizes classified information for use by prosecutors in the US judicial
system. But investigators are told to cover up the SOD’s footprint on cases through a
technique called “parallel reconstruction.” The technique fakes the origins of sensitive
information, giving the impression that SOD tips come from a different source.

The practice has raised concern that defendants are being denied basic constitutional
rights to review the evidence against them. Some civil libertarians are also worried
that SOD activities demonstrate an expansion of the national security and intelligence
agencies’ involvement in the normal criminal justice system.

The NSA has openly acknowledged that it cooperates with law enforcement. But the
agency has denied that law enforcement has access to it database of phone records,
according to Reuters.

“This coordination frequently includes sanitizing classified information so that it can be
passed to personnel at lower clearance levels in order to meet their operational
requirements,” the NSA wrote in a statement published by Reuters.

“If the Intelligence Community collects information pursuant to a valid foreign
intelligence tasking that is recognized as being evidence of a crime, the intelligence
community can disseminate that information to law enforcement, as appropriate.”

Source: Deutsche Welle


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - September 4, 2013 at 10:08 pm

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Part III: Uproar created by Obama-who runs the United States?

Barack Obama

Newscast Media LOS ANGELES, Calif—Many of the protestors are asking Obama to repeal the Trespass Bill and others are concerned that martial law is being set up for implementation. Based on my observations, it is highly likely that Obama signed the bill based on the direction and recommendation of high-ranking military officials. It could be very likely that before the November election, a foreseen emergency may prompt an announcement, because Section 103(a) and (c) state: “(a) identify requirements for the full spectrum of emergencies, including essential military and civilian demand; (c) be prepared, in the event of a potential threat to the security of the United States, to take actions necessary to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production capability, including services and critical technology, for national defense requirements…” The entire executive order can be read here.

One school of thought has gone as far as speculating that it could be a war-related emergency that might trigger anger in the public, hence law enforcement may be needed to contain any arising emergencies. The other school of thought believes Obama is simply updating the older version of the executive order to reflect current social dynamic changes.

Regardless of which school of thought is correct, he had to have military advice because it is a “Defense” executive order. We can therefore ask, “Which agency, is calling the shots?”

To answer this question, I will once again turn to Bowart, who interviewed a retired combat veteran about this subject. The retired veteran, and a former assassin, was a sixty-year-old, gray-haired, man. “. . . Don’t kid yourself,” the assassin said, “This country is controlled by the Pentagon. All the major decisions in this country are made by the military, from my observations on the clandestine side of things. The CIA’s just a figurehead. They are more worldwide—like the FBI is. They’re accountants, lawyers, file clerks, schoolboys. They are information gatherers.

“As far as intelligence goes the NSA [the National Security Agency] is far, far superior to them—far in advance in the ‘black arts.’ The CIA gets blamed for what NSA does. NSA is far more vicious and far more accomplished in their operations. The CIA gathers information, but the military heads the show. Look at how many former military officers work for the CIA. Look at how many former high-ranking military officers work for the multinational corporations. Can’t you figure it out?”

The retired officer continued to tell the investigative journalist, “There is a group of about eighteen or twenty people running this country. They have not been elected. The elected people are only figureheads for these guys who have a lot more power than even the President of the United States.”

Bowart then asked the officer if the president was powerless, to which the officer replied, “Not exactly powerless. He has the power to make decisions on what is presented to him. The intelligence agencies tell him only what they want to tell him, however. They don’t tell him any more than they have to or want to. You have to wonder at American stupidity (his words, not mine). How much does it take to get people to wake up to what has happened? (page 238-239)

“What people don’t know is that the global corporations have their own version of the CIA. Where they don’t interface with the CIA, they have their own organizations—all CIA-trained. There is a network of what amounts to double agents—they do work for the government, and may appear to be government agents, but they are first loyal to the corporations. These guys are strictly free enterprise agents. When one of these companies finds someone inside it that’s selling secrets, they take him on a fishing trip, a boat ride, and get rid of him. It’s quite common,” he said. (page 240)

We often hear of several cases whereby military operatives have memory loss of the missions in which they were engaged. It is believed that in such cases, their memories have been scrambled to prevent them from revealing their top-secret missions. The soldier or agent then experiences a “blank” and loses recall of what happened.

To elaborate on how this could happen, the retired officer says: “For example, suppose that a dictator in some South American country is setting up real problems and we try to kick him out. We call in some of my former group and say, ‘Look, the bastard has got to have a fatal accident, and it’s gotta look good—like he fell on a bar of soap and broke his neck in the bathtub or something.’ So we go down there and get the job done. But it could be quite embarrassing if any of the guys were cross-examined about where they’d been and what they’d done . . . So the guys who were in on the job suddenly have a cold or something, and they are put in a hospital for maybe just a routine checkup. They come out of the hospital in about fifteen days. They’re alive. They’re well. They’re healthy. And they’re happy, too. Lots of luck if you question them: they don’t remember anything.”

In his interview with Bowart, the retired officer then cited a specific mission he had undertaken: “…I won’t say the name of the country, but it was a South American country. We had a leader that we had supported there who suddenly got the idea that he was going to go off on his own. They tried to reason, negotiate, buy off his affections. When all that failed, my team was sent in to correct the situation. We went in very quietly and left very noisily. We went in as tourists, but the important material we brought in was the turning point. Let’s say we couldn’t reason with the man anymore. We were there about six days, and the problem disappeared.” (page 247)

The greatest fear these federal agencies face is that one of their agents could get drunk and reveal secret information to a prostitute. Usually for every agent or high-ranking government official, there is an attractive woman assigned to take care of his urges. They match the two using a computer, based on what both have in common. The relationship is kept top secret, but it also secures classified information that is not intended for public consumption.

The same applies to women who are matched with men who fit a certain profile and symmetrical desires of each woman. This way, if the woman gets drunk at some party, or if she becomes lonely due to the extensive trips required, she won’t spill classified secrets to some ex-boyfriend from her past, since she would have a computer-matched male, who works for the same agency, to take care of her emotional needs.

Working for the government means that all areas of a person’s life are monitored by whatever agency that person works for.

It is no wonder that many choose to remain in the private sector to prevent their privacy from being infringed upon. This explains why there is an uproar about the recent Trespass Bill HR 347 and the executive order on National Defense Resources Preparedness that many are interpreting as a prelude to martial law. Both signed documents appear to intrude on liberties of civilians.

This journalist has presented to you information based on assessments of both sides. It is now up to the readers to form their own opinions and draw their own conclusions, regarding the events that have been unfolding as a result of the president’s signatures. This concludes the summary, or summarizes the conclusion of my Uproar series.


2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - March 22, 2012 at 3:43 am

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Surveillance powers of Patriot Act extended by House of Representatives

National Security Agency

Newscast Media — Members of The House of Representatives have agreed to extend some of surveillance powers granted by the 2001 Patriot Act after the 9/11 attacks in a 275-144 vote. The ACT will extend until December provisions on wiretaps, access to business records and surveillance of terror suspects. The matter now goes to the Senate for its consideration. The provisions are set to expire on 28 February. Former President George W. Bush introduced the Patriot Act after the September 11, attacks.

Mr Bush and other supporters argued that the legal safeguards traditionally granted to criminal suspects left the US ill-protected against further attacks. Critics say the broad powers the act grants US law enforcement agencies violate Americans’ privacy.

“I believe the American people have a legitimate fear of out-of-control government,” said Republican Dana Rohrabacher, one of 27 from his party to vote against the bill on Monday.

“And yes, they have a legitimate fear of out-of-control prosecutors and out-of-control spy networks,” he asserted.

The provisions covered under the bill give the US government the authority for “roving surveillance” of suspects who might be able to thwart investigative methods that ordinarily require a judge’s warrant.

They also give federal investigators access to business records with a warrant from a secret national security court and grant federal law enforcement greater power to watch foreign so-called “lone wolf” terror suspects.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - February 15, 2011 at 11:32 pm

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