Obama Refuses to Pardon Edward Snowden. Trump’s New CIA Pick Wants Him Dead.

November 18 2016, 3:35 p.m.President Obama indicated on Friday that he won’t pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even as President-elect Donald Trump announced his pick to run the CIA: Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo, who has called for “the traitor Edward Snowden” to be executed.

Fuente: Obama Refuses to Pardon Edward Snowden. Trump’s New CIA Pick Wants Him Dead.


Social media: Challenging the jihadi narrative

Mr Arshad is one of a growing group of digital media stars who use YouTube videos, Facebook posts, tweets, photos and standup comedy to counter the barrage of extremist propaganda online — particularly from social media-savvy terrorist groups such as Isis. His YouTube series, which tackles issues facing Muslim youth in London, has been watched more than 73m times. One video, “I’m a Muslim, not a terrorist” has been screened in more than 100 schools around the UK by the police.

Fuente: Social media: Challenging the jihadi narrative


El MI6 contratará casi mil espías para combatir el terrorismo – El Mostrador

Según afirmaciones de Younger publicadas por The Times el mundo digital “representa una amenaza porque los que se oponen a nosotros pueden utilizar esta capacidad para tener acceso a nuestras actividades, lo que significa que tenemos que cambiar completamente la forma en que hacemos las cosas”.

Fuente: El MI6 contratará casi mil espías para combatir el terrorismo – El Mostrador


Facebook is Collaborating with the Israeli Government to Determine What Should be Censored

Associated Press reports today from Jerusalem that “the Israeli government and Facebook have agreed to work together to determine how to tackle incitement on the social media network.” These meetings are taking place “as the government pushes ahead with legislative steps meant to force social networks to rein in content that Israel says incites violence.” In other words, Israel is about to legislatively force Facebook to censor content deemed by Israeli officials to be improper, and Facebook appears eager to appease those threats by working directly with the Israeli government to determine what content should be censored.

Fuente: Facebook is Collaborating with the Israeli Government to Determine What Should be Censored


Twitter suspends 235,000 accounts in six months for promoting terrorism | Technology | The Guardian

Twitter has suspended 235,000 accounts in the last six months for violation of its policies regarding the promotion of terrorism and violent threat, the company said Thursday, adding to 125,000 suspensions in the six months before that.In a blog post on Thursday, the company said that “there is no one ‘magic algorithm’ for identifying terrorist content on the Internet”.

Fuente: Twitter suspends 235,000 accounts in six months for promoting terrorism | Technology | The Guardian


German proposals could see refugees’ phones searched by police | World news | The Guardian

Checking smartphones of those without passports among measures announced by the interior minister, Thomas de Maizière

Fuente: German proposals could see refugees’ phones searched by police | World news | The Guardian


Search engines’ role in radicalisation must be challenged, finds study | Technology | The Guardian

Although the UK government’s Prevent strategy claims the internet must not be ungoverned space for Islamist extremism and British diplomats have taken the lead in the global communications fight against Islamic State on the net, the study suggests government agencies are only at the beginning of a “labyrinthine challenge”. So-called counter-narrative initiatives led by governments and civil society groups are “under-resourced and not achieving sufficient natural interest”, suggesting the battle of ideas is not even being engaged, let alone won.

Fuente: Search engines’ role in radicalisation must be challenged, finds study | Technology | The Guardian


ONU teme más atentados si intensifica guerra contra terrorismo en Siria e Irak – El Mostrador

Laborde insistió en la importancia de avanzar en el intercambio de información entre los servicios de inteligencia de los gobiernos para acelerar lo más posible la detección de individuos potencialmente peligrosos.En esa misma línea, abogó por profundizar los lazos entre la comunidad internacional y las grandes empresas tecnológicas para “ganar la batalla de la información y la interconexión”.

Fuente: ONU teme más atentados si intensifica guerra contra terrorismo en Siria e Irak – El Mostrador


The racist hijacking of Microsoft’s chatbot shows how the internet teems with hate | World news | The Guardian

Microsoft was apologetic when its AI Twitter feed started spewing bigoted tweets – but the incident simply highlights the toxic, often antisemitic, side of social media

Fuente: The racist hijacking of Microsoft’s chatbot shows how the internet teems with hate | World news | The Guardian


Israeli soldiers' app use leads to deadly fight in West Bank camp | World news | The Guardian

Palestinian killed during rescue of two soldiers who mistakenly entered refugee camp while using Waze navigation app

Fuente: Israeli soldiers’ app use leads to deadly fight in West Bank camp | World news | The Guardian


How the changing media is changing terrorism | Jason Burke | World news | The Guardian

The long read: Just like news organisations, terrorists need an audience – and both have adapted their tactics to keep your attention

Fuente: How the changing media is changing terrorism | Jason Burke | World news | The Guardian


Twitter Says There’s No “Magical Algorithm” to Find Terrorists

Twitter announced on Friday that it has shut down over 125,000 user accounts for promoting violent threats or terrorist acts, mostly having to do with ISIS, in less than a year. At the same time, the company made it clear that there is no automated way of distinguishing between protected speech and what it considers violations of its rules.

Fuente: Twitter Says There’s No “Magical Algorithm” to Find Terrorists


Twitter cancela 125.000 cuentas relacionadas con ISIS | Tecnología | EL PAÍS

El Gobierno de Estados Unidos trabaja con la compañía, y con Google y Facebook, para frenar los mensajes de difusión de terrorismo

Fuente: Twitter cancela 125.000 cuentas relacionadas con ISIS | Tecnología | EL PAÍS


Edward Snowden desmiente encriptación de ISIS – FayerWayer

La herida por los ataques terroristas en París aún sigue fresca, pero el grupo de ISIS no se ha detenido en su campaña de propaganda y amenazas, alertando a las autoridades en su último movimiento, por la supuesta inclusión de métodos de cifrado avanzado para sus comunicaciones. Pero Edward Snowden no les cree nada.

Fuente: Edward Snowden desmiente encriptación de ISIS – FayerWayer


French media groups to hold emergency meeting after Isis cyber-attack | World news | The Guardian

French media groups to hold emergency meeting after Isis cyber-attack | World news | The Guardian.

Yves Bigot, the director-general of French TV network TV5Monde, says the company’s firewalls were breached by people with a deep knowledge of security and possible links to Islamic State

France’s culture minister is to call an urgent meeting of French media groups to assess their vulnerability to hacking after the public service television network TV5Monde was taken over by individuals claiming to belong to Islamic State, blacking out broadcasts as well as hacking its websites and Facebook page.

All TV5Monde broadcasts were brought down in a blackout between 10pm and 1am local time on Wednesday to Thursday by hackers claiming allegiance to Isis. They were able to seize control of the television network founded by the French government in 1984, simultaneously hacking 11 channels as well as its website and social media accounts.

Experts say the cyber-attack represented a new level of sophistication for the Islamist group, which has claimed complex hacking before, but nothing as big as this. The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened a terrorism investigation into the attack.


Cadena francófona TV5Monde pirateada por individuos que dicen ser del Estado Islámico – BioBioChile

Cadena francófona TV5Monde pirateada por individuos que dicen ser del Estado Islámico – BioBioChile.


ARCHIVO | Tauseef Mustafa | AFP

ARCHIVO | Tauseef Mustafa | AFP

Publicado por Claudia Miño | La Información es de Agencia AFP

La cadena francófona TV5Monde está siendo pirateada desde las 21:00 horas del miércoles por individuos que se reclaman del grupo Estado Islámico (EI) y que impiden la emisión de los programas y controlan sus páginas web, informó a la AFP el director general Bigot.

“No podemos emitir en ninguna de nuestras cadenas. Nuestras webs y nuestras redes sociales no están bajo nuestro control y presentan todos reivindicaciones del Estado Islámico”, anunció.

Los piratas han colgado en la cuenta Facebook de TV5Monde documentos de identidad y currículos de allegados de los militares implicados en las operaciones contra el EI.

TV5Monde parecía que había recuperado el control de su página Facebook hacia media noche, pero la cadena seguía mostrando una pantalla negra.

“¡Soldados en Francia, aléjense del Estado Islámico! Tienen la posibilidad de salvar a sus familias, aprovéchenlo!”, se podía leer en un mensaje en Facebook.

“En nombre de Alá, el clemente, misericordioso, el cyberCalifato sigue realizando su ciberyihad contra los enemigos del Estado Islámico”, agrega el texto.

El mensaje acusa al presidente francés, François Hollande, de haber cometido una “falta imperdonable” al realizar una “guerra que no sirve para nada”, y afirma que el cibercalifato está “buscando a las familias de los militares que se han vendido a los estadounidenses”.

Francia forma parte de la coalición militar internacional antiyihadista liderada por Estados Unidos, que realiza bombardeos aéreos desde hace varios meses en Irak y en Siria, donde el EI ha conquistado enormes territorios y ha proclamado un “califato”.


What's Scarier: Terrorism, or Governments Blocking Websites in its Name? – The Intercept

What’s Scarier: Terrorism, or Governments Blocking Websites in its Name? – The Intercept.

Featured photo - What’s Scarier: Terrorism, or Governments Blocking Websites in its Name?

The French Interior Ministry on Monday ordered that five websites be blocked on the grounds that they promote or advocate terrorism. “I do not want to see sites that could lead people to take up arms on the Internet,” proclaimed Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

When the block functions properly, visitors to those banned sites, rather than accessing the content of the sites they chose to visit, will be automatically redirected to the Interior Ministry website. There, they will be greeted by a graphic of a large red hand, and text informing them that they were attempting to access a site that causes or promotes terrorism: “you are being redirected to this official website since your computer was about to connect with a page that provokes terrorist acts or condones terrorism publicly.”

No judge reviews the Interior Ministry’s decisions. The minister first requests that the website owner voluntarily remove the content he deems transgressive; upon disobedience, the minister unilaterally issues the order to Internet service providers for the sites to be blocked. This censorship power is vested pursuant to a law recently enacted in France empowering the interior minister to block websites.

Forcibly taking down websites deemed to be supportive of terrorism, or criminalizing speech deemed to “advocate” terrorism, is a major trend in both Europe and the West generally. Last month in Brussels, the European Union’s counter-terrorism coordinator issued a memo proclaiming that “Europe is facing an unprecedented, diverse and serious terrorist threat,” and argued that increased state control over the Internet is crucial to combating it.

The memo noted that “the EU and its Member States have developed several initiatives related to countering radicalisation and terrorism on the Internet,” yet argued that more must be done. It argued that the focus should be on “working with the main players in the Internet industry [a]s the best way to limit the circulation of terrorist material online.” It specifically hailed the tactics of the U.K. Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), which has succeeded in causing the removal of large amounts of material it deems “extremist”:

In addition to recommending the dissemination of “counter-narratives” by governments, the memo also urged EU member states to “examine the legal and technical possibilities to remove illegal content.”


Francia bloquea cinco páginas web por apología del terrorismo yihadista | Internacional | EL PAÍS

Francia bloquea cinco páginas web por apología del terrorismo yihadista | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

 

Primera vez que se toma esta medida a través de un decreto que no exige decisión judicial

 

 

 

Así sale el mensaje de censura emitido por el Ministerio del Interior francés. / Captura de imagen

El Gobierno francés ha aplicado este fin de semana por vez primera el decreto aprobado el 4 de febrero pasado y que le permite bloquear páginas web que hagan apología del terrorismo. Se trata de una decisión administrativa que no requiere decisión previa de un juez y que, a demanda del Ministerio del Interior, los proveedores de Internet deben aplicar en el plazo de 24 horas. En total, son cinco las páginas de presunta propaganda yihadista las que han quedado bloqueadas este lunes, según ha confirmado Interior.

La alerta la dio por la mañana el corresponsal en Túnez y Libia de la RFI, David Thomson, en su cuenta de Twitter. “¡Una página de información islámica censurada en Francia sin decisión judicial!”, anunció a primera hora de la mañana el periodista. Se trataba de una página web en la que se defendían las acciones yihadistas en Siria e Irak, según el mismo Thomson, autor del libro Los franceses yihadistas. La página cerrada era www.islamic-news.info. Tras la intervención gubernamental, al acceder a ella aparecen el logo del Ministerio del Interior y una leyenda en letras rojas que advierte de que dicha página provocaba acciones terroristas. Este ministerio informó unas horas más tarde la censura de un total de cinco páginas entre las que está también una de al-Hayat Media Center, que se encarga de la comunicación del Estado Islámico. El sitio web seguía por la tarde activo.


El Estado Islámico en Twitter: un califato con 46.000 proyectiles | Internacional | EL PAÍS

El Estado Islámico en Twitter: un califato con 46.000 proyectiles | Internacional | EL PAÍS.


La mayoría de los fieles a los yihadistas en la red social escriben en árabe y viven en países objetivo de los yihadistas

Perfil del Mando Central de EE UU tras el ataque de piratas afines al EI.

Dicen los analistas estadounidenses J. M. Berger y Jonathon Morgan que para que un usuario de Twitter sea considerado seguidor del Estado Islámico (EI) no vale con que cuente en tuits las veleidades del grupo yihadista. Necesita además que alguno de los internautas ya vinculados al EI en la Red siga su perfil. Viendo el listado de followers (seguidores) de@aboojaber111 —sirva de ejemplo— no hay duda de que integra ese ejército de radicales. Según el informe publicado ayer por Berger y Morgan para la Brookings Institution, el censo de tuiteros del EI, a diciembre de 2014, estaba formado por al menos 46.000 fieles.


Alerta por amenazas del grupo Estado Islámico a fundador de Twitter – BioBioChile

Alerta por amenazas del grupo Estado Islámico a fundador de Twitter – BioBioChile.

 

El cofundador de Twitter, Jack Dorsey | Bill Pugliano/ AFP

El cofundador de Twitter, Jack Dorsey | Bill Pugliano/ AFP

Publicado por Eduardo Woo | La Información es de Agencia AFP
 

Twitter informó el lunes que investiga junto a cuerpos de seguridad una serie de amenazas contra la empresa, en medio de reportes de prensa según los cuales la red social se convirtió en un objetivo luego de bloquear cuentas vinculadas a los yihadistas de Estado Islámico.

“Nuestro equipo de seguridad está investigando la veracidad de estas amenazas con las fuerzas del orden pertinentes”, dijo el portavoz de Twitter sin dar más detalles.

Esto ocurre luego de informes de prensa que señalaron que Twitter había suspendido cuentas vinculadas a EI y a otros grupos relacionados, como el nigeriano Boko Haram.

Una página en el boletín en línea Pastebin, cuya fuente no pudo verificarse, mostró un fotomontaje del fundador de Twitter Jack Dorsey en medio de la mira telescópica de un rifle y un mensaje en árabe.


How a team of social media experts is able to keep track of the UK jihadis | World news | The Guardian

How a team of social media experts is able to keep track of the UK jihadis | World news | The Guardian.

A Facebook posting by Collin Gordon, one of the 700 or so western fighters for Isis in the database

Another Briton had died in Syria, and back in London investigators were busy “scraping” through his online peer network for clues about fellow Islamic State (Isis) foot soldiers.

It was little surprise that Rhonan Malik knew two Canadian brothers, Gregory and Collin Gordon. After all, Twitter rumours suggested that all three had been killed in the same December air strike. More intriguing was the prodigious Facebookpresence of Collin Gordon which indicated that, shortly before becoming a jihadist, he had been “quite the party boy”.

On a labyrinthine upper floor of King’s College London is the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR), the first global initiative of its type, whose offices are frequently contacted by counter-terrorism officers, hungry for information on the continuing flow of Britons to the ranks of Isis.

At 4.30pm on Thursday the centre’s researchers were assiduously examining social media “accounts of value”, noting the ongoing ripples of jubilation following the Charlie Hebdo and Paris attacks. A pseudonymous jihadist from Manchester, Abu QaQa, had said that the shootings had persuaded Isis and al-Qaida supporters to bury their differences.

“He’s saying we should be happy that jihad was made against the crusaders. It doesn’t matter that AQ and IS have been fighting each other – if it brings attacks against the west he’ll support it,” said Joseph Carter, research fellow at the ICSR.

So far the centre’s database has amassed profiles of about 700 western foreign fighters who have joined either Isis or groups such as al-Qaida’s Syrian offshoot, the al-Nusra Front. Each individual is categorised according to 72 data points, such as their birthplace or previous employment. At one point the database held the particulars of up to 90 Britons, a figure that has dwindled to around 50, largely as a consequence of coalition air strikes against Isis positions – Malik is believed to be at least the 35th Briton killed in Syria during 2014 – while a handful have simply vanished without trace from social media.


El Estado Islámico inunda las redes sociales alternativas | Diario Público

El Estado Islámico inunda las redes sociales alternativas | Diario Público.

Móvil con la bandera de ISIS en la pantalla

Móvil con la bandera de ISIS en la pantalla

DAVID BOLLERO

A finales de 2014, la ONU mostraba su preocupación por el hecho de que al menos 15.000 extranjeros procedentes de más de 80 países hubieran viajado a Siria, Irak, Somalia, Yemen y la región del Magreb y el Sahel para unirse a grupos extremistas. Se estima que una cuarta parte de los combatientes del Estado Islámico (EI) podrían ser extranjeros. Buena parte de este poder de captación se canaliza a través de las nuevas tecnologías.

El primer ministro británico, David Cameron, sugería esta misma semana la prohibición del uso de aplicaciones como Whatsapp por la dificultad de interceptar sus comunicaciones al estar cifradas y ser directamente de terminal a terminal. Si bien es verdad que el EI ha utilizado este tipo de aplicaciones no es menos cierto que desde el pasado mes de octubre el Estado Islámico desaconsejó a sus seguidores utilizarla por considerar que la NSA sí podía interceptar las comunicaciones. De esta manera, el EI encuentra recambio a Whatsapp en otros servicios de mensajería instantánea, como Kik, a través de los cuales coordina sus operaciones en el mercado negro, recluta o, incluso, organiza incursiones en primera línea de combate.

En ocasiones, las herramientas utilizadas por grupos extremistas como el EI ni siquiera se encuentran cuidadosamente ocultas; más bien al contrario, a plena luz de los internautas. El problema es que el volumen de información es tan elevado en la red que, precisamente, esa es su mejor baza para pasar inadvertidos. Es el caso de la aplicación móvil para Android que se descubrió el año pasado en Google Play: ‘The Dawn of Glad Tidings’, también conocida simplemente como ‘Dawn’.

Activa desde abril de 2014, fue descargada por miles de usuarios -se calcula que entre 5.000 y 10.000 descargas- bajo la descripción de “la aplicación que te informa sobre Siria, Irak y el mundo islámico”. Más de 600 calificaciones de la aplicación fueron de 4.9 estrellas, siendo una de las mejor posicionadas.

Una vez descargada, la aplicación tuiteaba a la cuenta del usuario –con enlaces, fotos, hashtags…- y, por ejemplo, el día que el EI se hizo con la ciudad de Mosul –la segunda ciudad de Irak- se registraron cerca de 40.000 tuits desde la aplicación.

Cuando el EI se hizo con
la ciudad de Mosul, se registraron cerca de 40.000 tuits desde la aplicación.

Una presencia en Twitter que, además, se refuerza utilizando cuentas como @ActiveHashtags que publica en árabe los trending topics (TT). Asimismo, estos grupos extremistas abren continuamente cuentas similares que únicamente publican contenido yihadista, consiguiendo cientos de retuits por tuit y, ya no sólo postear los principales TT sino, además, crearlos.

Manual ante una cuenta cerrada

Los esfuerzos por identificar estas cuentas y cancelarlas por parte de las principales redes como Facebook, Twitter e, incluso, YouTube se han intensificado, especialmente, desde la primera emisión del vídeo que mostraba la decapitación del periodista James Foley con campañas como #ISISmediablackout. Lo mismo sucede con otras redes como Tumblr, Flickr, SoundCloud o Instagram (y clones móviles como Iphoneogram).

Sin embargo, en los diversos foros yihadistas circulan recomendaciones sobre lo que hay que hacer cuando una cuenta es cancelada. Entre estos consejos, además de hackear los medios occidentales, figuran diversificar las redes, redirigiendo seguidores a canales distintos a Twitter o subiendo vídeos a canales diferentes a los de YouTube. Además, desde el EI animan a configurar servidores alternativos para dar salida a sus publicaciones, ampliando las aplicaciones más allá de la polaca Just Paste. Mixlr se perfila como otra de las bazas multimedia para el EI, brindando la oportunidad de emitir y sintonizar transmisiones en directo de audio.

Redes descentralizadas

Como alternativa a Twitter, los terroristas han dado con Quitter, donde también sufren el cierre de cuentas con son detectadas por el sistema. Del mismo modo, los yihadistas encuentras en redes como la rusa VKontakte una alternativa a Facebook. No es la única, puesto que existen otras alternativas como la árabe Gulpup o las de código abierto Friendica y especialmente Diaspora por su mayor calado, que también se han convertido en una vehículo de propagando y reclutamiento para el Estado Islámico.

Diaspora es una red sin ánimo de lucro que, a diferencia de otras redes sociales, no tiene sus servidores centralizados sino repartidos en una red de podmins, esto es, administradores de pods, como se denomina al servidor web personal de un usuario, que puede albergar múltiples cuentas. Es su responsabilidad eliminarlas o no, algo a lo que se anima desde Diaspora, pero sobre lo que no se toma acción directa por lo que el EI puede desarrollar su comunidad de adeptos más fácilmente.

Preguntas y respuestas

Otros métodos seguidos por el Estado Islámico para reclutar seguidores son las webs del tipo de la letona Ask.fm, donde los usuarios lanzan preguntas y otros las responden. El EI habría hecho uso de páginas como ésta para identificar a los reclutas más jóvenes y extender la propaganda. Informes del MEMRI (The Middle East Media Research Institute) revelan incluso cómo, dado que el portal no realiza ningún tipo de monitorización del contenido subido por los usuarios, un tal Abu Abdullah –que en Twitter llegó a operar como @Al_Brittani- habría viajado a Siria vía Turquía para unirse al Estado Islámico y habría respondido preguntas acerca de la yihad, armas, combatir o de cómo viajar a Siria, entre otras.

Estas técnicas, como sucede con las producciones ‘hollywoodienses’ de algunos de sus vídeos, persiguen aparecerse como una causa atractiva a los potenciales candidatos aliados, sin olvidar la amplificación de su mensaje. Complementando este planteamiento, el EI cuenta con su propia publicación, DABIQ, cuyos números pueden descargarse fácilmente desde diversas páginas web y están especialmente dirigidas a los musulmanes occidentales.


Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism – The Intercept

Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism – The Intercept.

BY GLENN GREENWALD AND ANDREW FISHMAN 

Featured photo - Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism

The Justice Department on Wednesday issued a press release trumpeting its latest success in disrupting a domestic terrorism plot, announcing that “the Joint Terrorism Task Force has arrested a Cincinnati-area man for a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol and kill government officials.” The alleged would-be terrorist is 20-year-old Christopher Cornell (above), who is unemployed, lives at home, spends most of his time playing video games in his bedroom, still addresses his mother as “Mommy” and regards his cat as his best friend; he was described as “a typical student” and “quiet but not overly reserved” by the principal of the local high school he graduated in 2012.

The affidavit filed by an FBI investigative agent alleges Cornell had “posted comments and information supportive of [ISIS] through Twitter accounts.” The FBI learned about Cornell from an unnamed informant who, as the FBI put it, “began cooperating with the FBI in order to obtain favorable treatment with respect to his criminal exposure on an unrelated case.” Acting under the FBI’s direction, the informant arranged two in-person meetings with Cornell where they allegedly discussed an attack on the Capitol, and the FBI says it arrested Cornell to prevent him from carrying out the attack.

Family members say Cornell converted to Islam just six months ago and claimed he began attending a small local mosque. Yet The Cincinnati Enquirer could not find a single person at that mosque who had ever seen him before, and noted that a young, white, recent convert would have been quite conspicuous at a mosque largely populated by “immigrants from West Africa,” many of whom “speak little or no English.”

The DOJ’s press release predictably generated an avalanche of scary media headlines hailing the FBI. CNN: “FBI says plot to attack U.S. Capitol was ready to go.” MSNBC: “US terror plot foiled by FBI arrest of Ohio man.” Wall St. Journal: “Ohio Man Charged With Plotting ISIS-Inspired Attack on U.S. Capitol.”

Just as predictably, political officials instantly exploited the news to justify their powers of domestic surveillance. House Speaker John Boehner claimed yesterday that “the National Security Agency’s snooping powers helped stop a plot to attack the Capitol and that his colleagues need to keep that in mind as they debate whether to renew the law that allows the government to collect bulk information from its citizens.” He warned: “We live in a dangerous country, and we get reminded every week of the dangers that are out there.” 


Saudi blogger Raif Badawi’s case referred to supreme court, says his wife | World news | The Guardian

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi’s case referred to supreme court, says his wife | World news | The Guardian.


King said to have stepped in amid flogging clamour as second round of 50 lashes delayed on health grounds

Protesters call for the release of Raif Badawi outside the Saudi embassy in The Hague, Netherlands
Protesters call for the release of Raif Badawi outside the Saudi embassy in The Hague, Netherlands. Photograph: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Rex

The wife of the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for criticising leading clerics, says King Abdullah has referred his case to the supreme court amid an international clamour over his flogging.

Ensaf Haidar, who lives in Canada with the couple’s three children, told the BBC the decision had raised hopes that the authorities wanted to end her husband’s punishment. But there has been no official statement from the Saudi government.

The authorities had already postponed Badawi’s flogging on medical grounds after a doctor said wounds from a previous lashing had not healed. Campaigners said the move exposed the “outrageous inhumanity” of his punishment.


Saudi blogger faces next 50 lashes as government ignores global protests | World news | The Guardian

Saudi blogger faces next 50 lashes as government ignores global protests | World news | The Guardian.

 

Wife of Raif Badawi says he may not be able to withstand more punishment as second installment of 1,000-lash sentence nears

 

Raif Badawi with his children
Saudi blogger Raif Badawi with his children. Photograph: Handout

Raif Badawi, the Saudi liberal convicted of publishing a blog, has been told he will again be flogged 50 times on Friday – the second part of his 1,000-lash sentence which also includes a 10-year jail term.

The US, Britain and other western governments had all called for the punishment to be dropped but there has been no sign of any diplomatic action against Riyadh. Amnesty International on Wednesday urged the UK government to challenge Saudi Arabia, which has ignored all protests over the case.

Badawi will be given 50 more lashes outside a mosque in his home city of Jeddah unless a Saudi prison doctor determines he is not yet fit to face the punishment owing to injuries sustained last Friday. If nothing changes, he will be flogged every Friday for the next 19 weeks.


‘Freedom of expression’ anti-snooping campaign launched over Ripa changes | Politics | The Guardian

‘Freedom of expression’ anti-snooping campaign launched over Ripa changes | Politics | The Guardian.

Campaigners fear draft code of Ripa legislation will allow police sweeping powers to access phone and email records of journalists, lawyers and doctors
Armed police officers Houses of Parliament
Armed police officers inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament in London. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

An urgent campaign has been launched for a “freedom of expression” law to protect confidential journalists’, MPs’ and lawyers’ phone and communications records being secretly snooped on by the police.

Senior editors and lawyers condemned as “wholly inadequate” safeguards put forward by Theresa May in December to meet concerns over the police use of surveillance powers in a code of practice linked to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa).

The critics of the draft code fear that the police will still have sweeping powers allowing them to authorise themselves to access the phone and email records of professionals such as journalists, lawyers, doctors, MPs and priests who handle privileged, confidential information.

More than 3,000 national and regional editors are being asked to sign a joint letter from the Society of Editors and Press Gazette, the industry’s journal, condemning the Home Office joint code for failing to recognise “the overarching importance of protecting journalists’ sources”.

The campaign comes as the prime minister, David Cameron, called for an extension of the laws that give snooping powers to security services with a plan to ban encrypted messages in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo Paris attacks.


Cuentas en redes de Comando Central de EE.UU. hackeadas por “simpatizantes” de EI – El Mostrador

Cuentas en redes de Comando Central de EE.UU. hackeadas por “simpatizantes” de EI – El Mostrador.

Centcom es el comando estadounidense que maneja las operaciones en Medio Oriente, Asia Central y Africa del Norte, y por tanto es donde se coordina la ofensiva contra EI en Irak y Siria.

EI

Algunas cuentas de redes sociales del Comando Central del Ejército de Estados Unidos (CentCom) fueron hackeadas este lunes por un grupo que se declaró simpatizante de Estado Islámico.

Centcom es el comando estadounidense que maneja las operaciones en Medio Oriente, Asia Central y Africa del Norte, y por tanto es donde se coordina la ofensiva contra EI en Irak y Siria.

En la cuenta de Twitter se pudo observar como los piratas informáticos cambiaron las imágenes de la cuenta y ubicaron la de un hombre encapuchado y el siguiente mensaje: “El cibercalifato continúa su ciber yihad. Ya está aquí. Estamos en sus PCs. En cada base militar”.

También fue publicada una lista de generales y una lista de direcciones aparentemente asociadas a ellos.

Además se colocó una serie de lo que parece ser documentos militares vinculados a China y Corea del Norte.

En el sitio de YouTube fueron colocados videos de propaganda del grupo mostrando operaciones militares.


Global outrage at Saudi Arabia as jailed blogger receives public flogging | World news | The Guardian

Global outrage at Saudi Arabia as jailed blogger receives public flogging | World news | The Guardian.

Kingdom stays silent as protesters contrast its opposition to Paris attacks on free speech with its own attacks on free speech
US Secratery of State John Kerry (2L) an
US secretary of state John Kerry attends a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Jeddah. Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally of the US and UK. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia is remaining silent in the face of global outrage at the public flogging of the jailed blogger Raif Badawi, who received the first 50 of 1,000 lashes on Friday, part of his punishment for running a liberal website devoted to freedom of speech in the conservative kingdom.

Anger at the flogging – carried out as the world watched the bloody denouement of the Charlie Hebdo and Jewish supermarket jihadi killings in Paris – focused on a country that is a strategic ally, oil supplier and lucrative market for the US, Britain and other western countries but does not tolerate criticism at home.

Badawi was shown on a YouTube video being beaten in a square outside a mosque in Jeddah, watched by a crowd of several hundred who shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) and clapped and whistled after the flogging ended. Badawi made no sound during the flogging and was able to walk back unaided afterwards.

“Raif was escorted from a bus and placed in the middle of the crowd, guarded by eight or nine officers,” a witness told Amnesty International.

“He was handcuffed and shackled but his face was not covered. A security officer approached him from behind with a huge cane and started beating him.

“Raif raised his head towards the sky, closing his eyes and arching his back. He was silent, but you could tell from his face and his body that he was in real pain.”

Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told the Guardian from Montreal on Sunday: “Many governments around the world have protested about my husband’s case. I was optimistic until the last minute before the flogging. But the Saudi government is behaving like Daesh [a derogatory Arabic name for Islamic State or Isis].”

Saudi Arabia joined other Arab and Muslim countries in condemning the murder of 12 people at the Paris satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo but angry comments highlighted its double standard in meting out a cruel punishment to a man who was accused of insulting Islam.


US Central Command Twitter account hacked to read 'I love Isis' | US news | theguardian.com

US Central Command Twitter account hacked to read ‘I love Isis’ | US news | theguardian.com.

Twitter avatar used by @CENTCOM was replaced with an image of a masked militant and the legends ‘CyberCaliphate’ and ‘I love Isis’

US Central Command
Central Command said it was aware of the apparent hack.

The Twitter account for US military forces in the Middle East and South Asia was hacked on Monday.

@CENTCOM, the account used by the US Central Command, tweetedout “messages from Islamic State (Isis) sympathizers threatening attacks on US military personnel”. Other tweets contained contact details for current and retired senior officers, though they did not appear to disseminate classified material.

The Twitter avatar used by the command was replaced with an image of a masked militant and the legends “CyberCaliphate” and “I love Isis”.

Documents and images tweeted out by the hackers did not appear to be classified, despite their boast that Isis had deeply penetrated the cyber defenses of the US military. Other military websites, including Central Command’s, appeared unaffected, and did not show any mark of cybervandalism, let alone any more hostile acts.

A similar avatar appeared on Central Command’s YouTube channel as well, as did at least two pro-Isis videos. Its Facebook account appeared unaffected.

“American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back!” read one tweet.Another claimed: “Isis is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base.”

Within minutes of the hijacked tweets, the Twitter account switched to a neutral, egg-like avatar as the unauthorized tweets paused. Twitter appeared to have suspended the account shortly after 1pm ET.

The hack happened nearly the same time President Obama was unveiling a plan to require companies to inform customers when their data has been hacked.


Unión Europea planea crear grupo de expertos en lucha contra propaganda yihadista – BioBioChile

Unión Europea planea crear grupo de expertos en lucha contra propaganda yihadista – BioBioChile.


Unión Europea | Wikimedia (cc)

Unión Europea | Wikimedia (cc)

Publicado por Catalina Díaz | La Información es de Agencia AFP
La Unión Europea planea crear en Bélgica una célula de expertos que podría asesorar a los países miembros para luchar contra la propaganda yihadista, indicó al periódico belga Le Soir un alto funcionario de la UE.

“La idea es que haya en Bélgica una célula de expertos capaz de aportar a los países de Europa respuestas inmediatas ante un problema de comunicación muy serio”, declaró al periódico el coordinador europeo de lucha contra el terrorismo, Gilles de Kerchove.

Las redes sociales se han convertido en un importante instrumento de reclutamiento de los grupos yihadistas. Así, la organización Estado Islámico (EI) ha difundido varios videos mostrando decapitaciones de rehenes occidentales.

Los expertos que participan en este proyecto piloto ofrecerán elementos “contranarrativos” y otros mensajes para combatir la propaganda del EI y otros grupos yihadistas, afirmó Kerchove.


La UE insta a los gigantes de la Red a combatir el terrorismo ‘online’ | Internacional | EL PAÍS

La UE insta a los gigantes de la Red a combatir el terrorismo ‘online’ | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

La Unión Europea tratará hoy de persuadir a los gigantes de Internet para que colaboren contra la que considera su mayor amenaza: los yihadistas europeos. Los ministros de Interior de los 28 Estados miembros y la Comisión Europea mantendrán una cena restringida con representantes de las grandes compañías tecnológicas, que los radicales utilizan en buena medida para difundir mensajes y captar adeptos. Tras ese encuentro, los responsables del Interior acelerarán sus planes para luchar de manera más intensa contra este fenómeno. Las autoridades europeas estiman que más de 3.000 combatientes comunitarios han viajado a Oriente Próximo.

Los responsables de la lucha antiterrorista han llegado a la conclusión de que no se puede combatir eficazmente a los yihadistas en Europa sin contar con la colaboración de las grandes compañías de Internet. Por ese motivo, la comisaria europea del Interior, Cecilia Malmström, y la presidencia de turno italiana del Consejo Europeo —representa a los Estados miembros— han organizado por primera vez un encuentro con el sector, según confirma a este diario un portavoz del Ejecutivo comunitario. Altos cargos de Facebook, Twitter, Google y Microsoft participarán en la cena, aseguran esas fuentes.


The Isis propaganda war: a hi-tech media jihad | World news | The Guardian

The Isis propaganda war: a hi-tech media jihad | World news | The Guardian.

Isis is using techniques plundered from movies, video games and news channels to spread its message. Who is masterminding the operation – and what is the best way to counter it?

An Isis recruitment video
An Isis recruitment video with the Al Hayat logo shown in the top corner.

In 1941, Hollywood director Frank Capra was commissioned to make a series of propaganda films for the US war effort. He knew he had his work cut out: he had seen Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph Of The Will – a staggering, state-of-the-art display of both film-making expertise and Nazi military might. “It scared the hell out of me,” Capra later said. “It fired no gun, dropped no bombs, but as a psychological weapon aimed at destroying the will to resist, it was just as lethal.” How could the Americans possibly compete? Capra’s solution was to turn the enemies’ weapons against them. His resulting seven-film documentary series, Why We Fight, repurposed footage from Triumph Of The Will and other propaganda films to show “our boys” what they were up against. He even copied Riefenstahl’s editing rhythms and rousing use of music. “Let their own films kill them,” Capra said. “Let the enemy prove to our soldiers the enormity of his cause – and the justness of ours.”

Fast forward to the present-day, and the situation seems to have been reversed. Just as Islamic State (Isis) has used captured American artillery against its enemies in Iraq, so it is using the west’s media tools and techniques against it. Isis has proved fluent in YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, internet memes (see: #catsofjihad) and other social media. Amateur videos and images are also being uploaded daily by its footsoldiers, which are then globally disseminated, both by ordinary users and mainstream news organisations hungry for images of a conflict their own cameras cannot access. A recent example was a recruitment video consisting of edited footage from Grand Theft Auto. “Your games which are producing from you, we do the same actions in the battlefields!! [sic]” proclaimed the YouTube clip, which was duly reported around the world. The current geopolitical situation in the Middle East is depressingly familiar, but Isis’s media sophistication is something new. It’s almost as if it looked at Osama bin Laden’s fuzzy, monotonous camcorder sermons of a decade ago and concluded that extremist Islam really needed a snappier marketing strategy. Isis is in competition with western news channels, Hollywood movies, reality shows, even music video, and it has adopted their vocabulary.


Isis in duel with Twitter and YouTube to spread extremist propaganda | World news | The Guardian

Isis in duel with Twitter and YouTube to spread extremist propaganda | World news | The Guardian.

Guardian investigation reveals subterfuge used by social media arm of Islamic State to hijack topics to spread jihadi views
An Isis propaganda video
An Isis propaganda video. The group’s media arm is using slick and fast techniques to spread its content online, Photograph: Screengrab/YouTube

Propaganda operatives from Islamic State (Isis) are piggybacking on popular internet hashtags and forums to secure the widest distribution of their videos, in an increasingly devious game of cat and mouse with police and internet companies, the Guardian can reveal.

An analysis of one of the most recent Isis video distributions shows the variety of techniques being used – including latching on to the huge interest in the Scottish independence referendum – to boost distribution of their extremist material on Twitter and YouTube.

The sophisticated strategies have prompted law enforcement agencies to work closer than ever with the world’s largest tech and social media companies to try to win the propaganda war. A specialist British police squad is working with companies including Twitter and YouTube to block and delete about 1,100 pieces of gruesome content a week, which they say contravene UK terror laws. The vast majority of the material – 800 items a week – relates to Syria and Iraq.

Officers from the UK’s counter-terrorism internet referral unit (CTIRU) acknowledge they are up against a slick and fast-moving dissemination of propaganda and much of the material being targeted involves suspending Twitter accounts or taking down videos of murder, torture, combat scenes, sniper attacks and suicide missions.


White House: racial slurs in NSA intelligence material 'unacceptable' | World news | theguardian.com

White House: racial slurs in NSA intelligence material ‘unacceptable’ | World news | theguardian.com.

FBI and NSA to review policy after leaked documents suggest training materials referred to targets using offensive language

 

 

NSA HQ in Fort Meade, Maryland
It is at least the second time the White House has ordered a review of agency training materials said to include offensive language. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

 

The White House has instructed US security agencies to review their training and policy materials for racial or religious bias after documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed training material for the intelligence agencies referring to “Mohammed Raghead”.

After an extensive investigation by the Intercept on Wednesday reported that the NSA and the FBI spied on the emails of five prominent US activists and attorneys with Muslim backgrounds, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said that the administration took accusations of the slurs “extremely seriously.”

“Upon learning of this matter, the White House immediately requested that the director of national intelligence undertake an assessment of intelligence community policies, training standards or directives that promote diversity and tolerance, and as necessary, make any recommendations changes or additional reforms,” Hayden said.

It is at least the second time the White House has ordered a review of agency training materials said to include offensive language.

The Intercept cited the “Mohammed Raghead” epithet as a placeholder for a target in a surveillance training document from 2005.

Vanee Vines, a spokeswoman for the NSA, said that she would not comment on “the authenticity of any leaked material,” but said the NSA “has not, and would not, approve official training documents that include insulting or inflammatory language. Any use of racial or ethnic stereotypes, slurs, or other similar language by employees is both unacceptable and inconsistent with NSA policy and core values.”

Hayden declined to provide additional detail on the scope or duration of the investigation. But it is reminiscent of an earlier incident in which the White House ordered the government’s vast counter-terrorism apparatus to find and purge inflammatory training material, particularly that which singled out Muslims for particular scrutiny.

In 2011, this reporter published FBI training material instructing newer counter-terrorism agents that Islam itself was a threat to US national security and compared the prophet Muhammad to a cult leader. Initial FBI pushback gave way to an inquiry, at the instruction of the White House, that removed significant quantities of offensive or imprecise training material.