EU could give police direct access to cloud data in wake of terror attacks | Technology | The Guardian

The European Union is seeking to make it easier for police and law enforcement agencies to retrieve electronic evidence from US tech firms, including directly from cloud storage.

Fuente: EU could give police direct access to cloud data in wake of terror attacks | Technology | The Guardian


Japan Made Secret Deals With the NSA That Expanded Global Surveillance

The documents, published Monday in collaboration with Japanese news broadcaster NHK, reveal the complicated relationship the NSA has maintained with Japan over a period of more than six decades. Japan has allowed NSA to maintain at least three bases on its territory and contributed more than half a billion dollars to help finance the NSA’s facilities and operations. In return, NSA has kitted out Japanese spies with powerful surveillance tools and shared intelligence with them. However, there is a duplicitous dimension to the partnership. While the NSA has maintained friendly ties with its Japanese counterparts and benefited from their financial generosity, at the same time it has secretly spied on Japanese officials and institutions.

Fuente: Japan Made Secret Deals With the NSA That Expanded Global Surveillance


¿Qué tenía el trabajo universitario que provocó una alerta de seguridad porque equivalía a “exportar armas nucleares a un gobierno hostil”? – El Mostrador

¿Por qué una agencia de espías de Estados Unidos no quería que los universitarios discutieran su trabajo en público? El caso es que no lograron acallarlos y, gracias a ello, tenemos la web.

Fuente: ¿Qué tenía el trabajo universitario que provocó una alerta de seguridad porque equivalía a “exportar armas nucleares a un gobierno hostil”? – El Mostrador


Russia hacked the US election. Now it’s coming for western democracy | Robby Mook | Opinion | The Guardian

We have to take action now to root out Russian and other foreign influences before they become too deeply enmeshed in our political ecosystem. First and foremost, leaders in the US and Europe must stop any attempt by the Trump administration to ease sanctions on Russia. It must be abundantly clear that attacking our elections through cyberspace will prompt a tough and proportional response.

Fuente: Russia hacked the US election. Now it’s coming for western democracy | Robby Mook | Opinion | The Guardian


Edward Snowden’s leave to remain in Russia extended for three years | US news | The Guardian

Earlier on Wednesday, Maria Zakharova, a foreign ministry spokeswoman, wrote on Facebook that Snowden’s right to stay had recently been extended “by a couple of years”. Her post came in response to a suggestion from the former acting CIA director Michael Morell that Vladimir Putin might hand over Snowden to the US, despite there being no extradition treaty between the countries.

Fuente: Edward Snowden’s leave to remain in Russia extended for three years | US news | The Guardian


El fantasma del espionaje durante la guerra fría se instala en la Universidad de Cambridge – El Mostrador

Tres académicos renunciaron a organizar un seminario sobre temas de seguridad e inteligencia, porque sospechan que una editorial ligada a la actividad pueda ser usada como pantalla por espías del Kremlin. “Cambridge es un maravilloso lugar de teorías conspirativas pero la idea de que haya un complot maquiavélico es ridículo”, dijo Neil Kent, uno de los principales impulsores del evento.

Fuente: El fantasma del espionaje durante la guerra fría se instala en la Universidad de Cambridge – El Mostrador


UK spy chief warns on ‘profound’ propaganda threat

“The connectivity that is at the heart of globalisation can be exploited by states with hostile intent to further their aims deniably,” said Mr Younger. “They do this through means as varied as cyber attacks, propaganda or subversion of democratic process.”

Fuente: UK spy chief warns on ‘profound’ propaganda threat


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.


Commander-In-Chief Donald Trump Will Have Terrifying Powers. Thanks, Obama.

He’ll control an unaccountable drone program, and the prison at Guantanamo Bay. His FBI, including a network of 15,000 paid informants, already has a record of spying on mosques and activists, and his NSA’s surveillance empire is ubiquitous and governed by arcane rules, most of which remain secret. He will inherit bombing campaigns in seven Muslim countries, the de facto ability to declare war unilaterally, and a massive nuclear arsenal — much of which is on hair-trigger alert.

Fuente: Commander-In-Chief Donald Trump Will Have Terrifying Powers. Thanks, Obama.


Snowden: ‘Politics of fear’ keep Trudeau from repealing Canada anti-terror law | US news | The Guardian

Edward Snowden has waded into the simmering debate over Canada’s controversial anti-terror law, saying that Justin Trudeau was reluctant to repeal the law out of a fear of appearing soft on terror.

Fuente: Snowden: ‘Politics of fear’ keep Trudeau from repealing Canada anti-terror law | US news | The Guardian


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


The NSA’s British Base at the Heart of U.S. Targeted Killing

in the heart of the tranquil English countryside, is the National Security Agency’s largest overseas spying base. Originally used to monitor Soviet communications through the Cold War, its focus has since dramatically shifted, and today it is a vital part of the NSA’s sprawling global surveillance network.

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


How the U.S. Spies on Medical Nonprofits and Health Defenses Worldwide

As part of an ongoing effort to “exploit medical intelligence,” the National Security Agency teamed up with the military-focused Defense Intelligence Agency to extract “medical SIGINT” from the intercepted communications of nonprofit groups starting in the early 2000s, a top-secret document shows.

Fuente: How the U.S. Spies on Medical Nonprofits and Health Defenses Worldwide


Bulk data collection vital to prevent terrorism in UK, report finds | World news | The Guardian

The bulk collection of personal data by British spy agencies is vital in preventing terrorist attacks, an independent review of draft security legislation has found.David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, concluded that laws giving MI5, MI6 and GCHQ the right to gather large volumes of data from members of the public had a “clear operational purpose”.

Fuente: Bulk data collection vital to prevent terrorism in UK, report finds | World news | 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


Cyber experts warn of hacking capability of drones – FT.com

Hackers could employ flying drones to buzz office buildings and intercept corporate communications, cyber security researchers have warned ahead of the industry’s annual gathering.A simple drone can be used to attack WiFi, bluetooth and other wireless connections such as those used in contactless payment cards, making it as easy to intercept information in a private building as it is in a public café.

Fuente: Cyber experts warn of hacking capability of drones – FT.com


Russian telecoms groups mount fight against anti-terror law – FT.com

The bill, signed by Vladimir Putin, Russian president, last week requires telecoms companies to store all text and voice messages, as well as all images, sound and video, transmitted via Russia on servers in the country for up to six months. They are also required to store metadata — information about when and from where messages were sent — for three years.

Fuente: Russian telecoms groups mount fight against anti-terror law – FT.com


Snowden Debates CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Encryption

NSA whistleblower and privacy advocate Edward Snowden took part in his first public debate on encryption on Tuesday night, facing off against CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, a journalist and author known for his coverage of international affairs.

Fuente: Snowden Debates CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Encryption


Exclusive: Snowden intelligence docs reveal UK spooks' malware checklist / Boing Boing

Boing Boing is proud to publish two original documents disclosed by Edward Snowden, in connection with “Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Extraordinary Rendition,” a short story …

Fuente: Exclusive: Snowden intelligence docs reveal UK spooks’ malware checklist / Boing Boing


GCHQ conducted illegal surveillance, investigatory powers tribunal rules | UK news | The Guardian

GCHQ conducted illegal surveillance, investigatory powers tribunal rules | UK news | The Guardian.

 Documents relating to Sami al-Saadi must be destroyed, tribunal has ruled.Documents relating to Sami al-Saadi must be destroyed, tribunal has ruled. Photograph: Marco Longari/AFP

GCHQ, Britain’s national security surveillance agency, has been ordered to destroy legally privileged communications it unlawfully collected from a Libyan rendition victim.

The ruling marks the first time in its 15-year history that the investigatory powers tribunal has upheld a specific complaint against the intelligence services, lawyers have said. It is also the first time the tribunal has ordered a security service to give up surveillance material.

The IPT says GCHQ must destroy two documents which are legally privileged communications belonging to a former opponent of the Gaddafi regime, Sami al-Saadi, who was sent back to Libya in 2004 in a joint MI6-CIA “rendition” operation with his wife and four children under 12.

The tribunal, chaired by Mr Justice Burton, ruled that GCHQ must give an undertaking that parts of those documents must be “destroyed or deleted so as to render such information inaccessible to the agency in the future”. The agency has to submit a secret report within 14 days confirming that the destruction has been carried out.

GCHQ has also been ordered to hand over a hard copy of the papers to the interception of communications commissioner within seven days. They will be kept safe for five years in case there are further legal proceedings or an inquiry.

The tribunal says that although the two documents contain information covered by legal privilege they did not disclose or refer to any legal advice: “The tribunal, after careful consideration, is [also] satisfied that there was no use or disclosure of the privileged information for the purpose of defending the civil claim brought by [Saadi] and others.”

This is a compensation claim against Jack Straw, the then foreign secretary, and the Foreign Office, being brought by Saadi along with another prominent opponent of Gaddafi, Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his family, for their role in their rendition and subsequent torture in Libya in 2004.


US warns of risks from deeper encryption – FT.com

US warns of risks from deeper encryption – FT.com.

 

Jeh Johnson©Getty

Jeh Johnson

The head of the US Department of Homeland Security has warned the cyber security industry that encryption poses “real challenges” for law enforcement.

In a speech at a cyber security conference, RSA in San Francisco, Jeh Johnson called on the industry to find a solution that protected “the basic physical security of the American people” and the “liberties and freedoms we cherish”.

“The current course on deeper and deeper encryption is one that presents real challenges for those in law enforcement and national security,” he said.He said he understood the importance of encryption for privacy but asked the audience to imagine what it would have meant for law enforcement if, after the invention of the telephone, all the police could search was people’s letters.

Mr Johnson’s comments echo those of FBI director James Comey who called on Congress last year to stop the rise of encryption where no one held a key and so law enforcement agencies could not unlock it.

In the UK, the director of GCHQ criticised US technology companies last year for becoming “the command and control networks of choice” for terrorists by protecting communications. Across Europe, police forces have become concerned by their inability to track the communications of people who plan to travel to the Middle East to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis).

 


US Threatened Germany Over Snowden, Vice Chancellor Says – The Intercept

US Threatened Germany Over Snowden, Vice Chancellor Says – The Intercept.

Featured photo - US Threatened Germany Over Snowden, Vice Chancellor Says

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel (above) said this week in Homburg that the U.S. government threatened to cease sharing intelligence with Germany if Berlin offered asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden or otherwise arranged for him to travel to that country. “They told us they would stop notifying us of plots and other intelligence matters,” Gabriel said.

The vice chancellor delivered a speech in which he praised the journalists who worked on the Snowden archive, and then lamented the fact that Snowden was forced to seek refuge in “Vladimir Putin’s autocratic Russia” because no other nation was willing and able to protect him from threats of imprisonment by the U.S. government (I was present at the event to receive an award). That prompted an audience member to interrupt his speech and yell out: “Why don’t you bring him to Germany, then?”

There has been a sustained debate in Germany over whether to grant asylum to Snowden, and a major controversy arose last year when a Parliamentary Committee investigating NSA spying divided as to whether to bring Snowden to testify in person, and then narrowly refused at the behest of the Merkel government. In response to the audience interruption, Gabriel claimed that Germany would be legally obligated to extradite Snowden to the U.S. if he were on German soil.

Afterward, however, when I pressed the vice chancellor (who is also head of the Social Democratic Party, as well as the country’s economy and energy minister) as to why the German government could not and would not offer Snowden asylum — which, under international law, negates the asylee’s status as a fugitive — he told me that the U.S. government had aggressively threatened the Germans that if they did so, they would be “cut off” from all intelligence sharing. That would mean, if the threat were carried out, that the Americans would literally allow the German population to remain vulnerable to a brewing attack discovered by the Americans by withholding that information from their government.


Proceso de paz Colombia: Una negociación histórica sin tabletas ni celulares | Internacional | EL PAÍS

Proceso de paz Colombia: Una negociación histórica sin tabletas ni celulares | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

 

Alejandre, en una reunión del Estado Mayor en 2003. / Uly martín

 

El general español retirado Luis Alejandre, con años de experiencia en procesos de paz en Centroamérica, fue testigo a finales de la semana pasada de una jornada histórica en La Habana. Por primera vez, cinco generales y un contraalmirante colombianos en activo se veían cara a cara con sus viejos enemigos, los jefes de las FARC, en el marco de las negociaciones de paz. Unas conversaciones que se celebran en Cuba desde hace más de dos años con el fin de acabar con un conflicto iniciado hace medio siglo y que ha causado 220.000 muertos.

Alejandre, que fue seleccionado como experto por el Gobierno noruego e intervino en el encuentro, destaca “el clima de respeto entre las partes en una reunión donde lo más importante era transmitir confianza. Hablaron con el corazón e incluso hubo momentos de distensión. Todo el mundo tomaba notas en papel. Nada de tabletas o móviles.


Former NSA director: Charlie Hebdo attack was 'kind of inevitable' | US news | The Guardian

Former NSA director: Charlie Hebdo attack was ‘kind of inevitable’ | US news | The Guardian.

 

The ex-CIA and NSA chief, Michael Hayden. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

 

 

The former NSA director general Michael Hayden said the Charlie Hebdo attack was “kind of inevitable” on Tuesday, and compared Islamist extremism to Ebola.

 

“The fact of the matter is there’s a plague and people are going to get Ebola,” he said.

 

Speaking at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based thinktank, Hayden said: “I don’t know that this was a question or flaw of intelligence sharing, in fact I know that the individuals have shown up on American radars as well as French radars.”

“Most folks like me view the Charlie Hebdo type attacks as kind of inevitable,” he continued, before paradoxically suggesting that no terrorist attacks need happen.


British refusal to cooperate with spy inquiry causes row in Germany | World news | The Guardian

British refusal to cooperate with spy inquiry causes row in Germany | World news | The Guardian.

Angela Merkel Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Downing Street and the German chancellery are embroiled in a worsening dispute over intelligence-sharing and the covert counter-terrorism campaign because of conflicts arising from the surveillance scandals surrounding the US National Security Agency and Britain’s GCHQ.

According to German newspaper reports citing government and intelligence officials in Berlin, the Bundestag’s inquiry into the NSA controversy is being jeopardised by Britain’s refusal to cooperate and its threats to break off all intelligence-sharing with Berlin should the committee reveal any UK secrets.

The weekly magazine Focus reported last month that a national security aide to David Cameron had written to Peter Altmaier, Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, refusing all requests for help in the inquiry and warning that Britain would cease supplying terrorism-related intelligence to the Germans unless Berlin yielded.

It emerged during the NSA revelations that the Americans had hacked into Merkel’s mobile phone, generating outrage in Germany and feeding growing anti-American sentiment.

Internationally, the BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence service, is viewed as less than vigorous. In the secret war on terror, the Germans are said to be dependent on signals intelligence from the British and the Americans.


La reforma de la NSA se queda a medio camino un año después | Internacional | EL PAÍS

La reforma de la NSA se queda a medio camino un año después | Internacional | EL PAÍS.


Algunos de los cambios anunciados por Obama no se han materializado

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Centro de datos de la NSA, en Utah. / RICK BOWMER (AP)

El teléfono de J. Kirk Wiebe suena desde hace unos meses con menos frecuencia. Wiebe fue uno de los primeros filtradores de la Agencia Nacional de Seguridad. Tras jubilarse en 2001, denunció, junto a dos veteranos exanalistas, que la NSA tenía cada vez más acceso a datos personales. Lograron poca atención y fueron perseguidos en la justicia. Pero en junio de 2013, adquirieron notoriedad gracias a las revelaciones deEdward Snowden sobre los largos tentáculos de la NSA: empezaron a dar muchas más charlas en Estados Unidos y Europa sobre su experiencia e influencia.

“Snowden nos había visto diciendo que intentamos ir por los canales internos del Gobierno y no conseguimos nada”, subraya Wiebe en alusión a que, tras fracasar ellos, Snowden optase por filtrar secretos a la prensa en vez de formular una queja interna en la NSA.

Pero ahora, al año y medio de las filtraciones de Snowden y al año de anunciarse la reforma de los programas de vigilancia, se habla mucho menos del joven exanalista refugiado en Rusia y del espionaje masivo. “La excitación ha bajado un poco, pero a la gente sigue sin gustarle [la NSA]”, agrega en una entrevista telefónica Wiebe, de 70 años, 30 de ellos en la agencia. La percepción pública sobre la NSA apenas ha variado: en octubre de 2013, un 54% tenía una opinión favorable; en enero de este año, un 51% (sobre todo jóvenes), según una encuesta del centro Pew.

Al año y medio de las filtraciones de Snowden y al año de anunciarse la reforma de los programas de vigilancia, se habla mucho menos del joven exanalista refugiado en Rusia y del espionaje masivo

Sin embargo, buena parte del debate en EE UU sobre los límites de la recopilación masiva de datos ha quedado eclipsado. El contexto ha cambiado, lo que puede propiciar retrocesos: crecen las voces que, ante el auge del yihadismo, se oponen a restringir los programas de vigilancia, y reclaman que las autoridades tengan plenos poderes para desbloquear la encriptación de teléfonos móviles.

La reforma de la NSA se ha quedado, por ahora, a medio camino. En enero de 2014, el presidente de EE UU, Barack Obama, anunció un conjunto de cambios para limitar la interceptación de datos sin mermar la protección de la seguridad nacional. Su objetivo era atenuar las preocupaciones de ciudadanos estadounidenses y gobiernos extranjeros aliados sobre posibles injerencias a la privacidad.


GCHQ captured emails of journalists from top international media | UK news | The Guardian

GCHQ captured emails of journalists from top international media | UK news | The Guardian.

 

• Snowden files reveal emails of BBC, NY Times and more
• Agency includes investigative journalists on ‘threat’ list
• Editors call on Cameron to act against snooping on media

 

GCHQ
The journalists’ communications were among 70,000 emails harvested in less than 10 minutes on one day in November 2008 by GCHQ. Photograph: GCHQ/EPA

GCHQ’s bulk surveillance of electronic communications has scooped up emails to and from journalists working for some of the US and UK’s largest media organisations, analysis of documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.

Emails from the BBC, Reuters, the Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde, the Sun, NBC and the Washington Post were saved by GCHQ and shared on the agency’s intranet as part of a test exercise by the signals intelligence agency.

The disclosure comes as the British government faces intense pressure to protect the confidential communications of reporters, MPs and lawyers from snooping.

The journalists’ communications were among 70,000 emails harvested in the space of less than 10 minutes on one day in November 2008 by one of GCHQ’s numerous taps on the fibre-optic cables that make up the backbone of the internet.

The communications, which were sometimes simple mass-PR emails sent to dozens of journalists but also included correspondence between reporters and editors discussing stories, were retained by GCHQ and were available to all cleared staff on the agency intranet. There is nothing to indicate whether or not the journalists were intentionally targeted.

The mails appeared to have been captured and stored as the output of a then-new tool being used to strip irrelevant data out of the agency’s tapping process.

New evidence from other UK intelligence documents revealed by Snowden also shows that a GCHQ information security assessment listed “investigative journalists” as a threat in a hierarchy alongside terrorists or hackers.


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.” 


Paris attacks: from solidarity to surveillance – video | World news | The Guardian

Paris attacks: from solidarity to surveillance – video | World news | The Guardian.

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The attacks in the French capital on the offices of a satirical magazine, in the streets and at a kosher supermarket prompted a wave of public outrage and solidarity. But in the days after the attacks politicians and others have seized on the events to push different agendas. Phoebe Greenwood recaps a febrile week in which solidarity and support for free expression began to give way to calls for wider surveillance

‘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.


Why MI5 does not need more surveillance powers after the Paris attacks | Henry Porter | Comment is free | The Guardian

Why MI5 does not need more surveillance powers after the Paris attacks | Henry Porter | Comment is free | The Guardian.


The terrorists wanted to undermine liberty and openness. We must resist the urge to do the same
Andrew Parker, MI5 director general
MI5 director general Andrew Parker. ‘Be it monitoring the Kouachi brothers or Lee Rigby’s killers, the authorities had all the powers they needed.’ Photograph: MI5/PA

Soon after the attacks in Paris last week, the director general of MI5, Andrew Parker, said of the jihadi threat: “Whenever we lose visibility of what they are saying to each other, so our ability to understand and mitigate the threat they pose is reduced.”

Few would disagree with this sentiment, or in any way underestimate the enormous responsibility counter-terrorist agencies face after the killings, but the coded suggestion that MI5 needs further sweeping surveillance powers to track down terrorists is more controversial, because it doesn’t take into account the facts.

The Kouachi brothers were part of what is known as the Buttes-Chaumont network and were being watched, on and off, as far back as 2005. In terms of monitoring, much the same is true of the killers of Lee Rigby, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale; the Boston bomber, Tamerlan Tsnarnaev; and the killer in the attack in Sydney late last year, Man Haron Monis. The authorities had all the powers they needed to monitor the activities of these men, both physically and electronically.

This is not to blame the agencies concerned, for it is impossible to predict the behaviour of any number of individuals – and agency resources, even in the US, are always going to be finite. The agencies have to make a call and sometimes that call will be wrong, which is all part of their extraordinarily difficult job. What is incoherent, and may be regarded as slightly opportunistic, is the agitation for new powers when they already have powers to observe and follow these individuals, and to intercept their communications.


Israeli intelligence veterans refuse to serve in Palestinian territories | World news | The Guardian

Israeli intelligence veterans refuse to serve in Palestinian territories | World news | The Guardian.

Innocent people under military rule exposed to surveillance by Israel, say 43 ex-members of Unit 8200, including reservists

 

 

An Israeli soldier carries a computer seized in Hebron during search for three Israeli teenagers
An Israeli soldier carries a computer unit seized in Hebron during a search for three Israeli teenagers who were eventually found dead in the West Bank city. Photograph: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images

 

Forty-three veterans of one of Israel’s most secretive military intelligence units – many of them still active reservists – have signed a public letter refusing to serve in operations involving the occupied Palestinian territories because of the widespread surveillance of innocent residents.

 

The signatories include officers, former instructors and senior NCOs from the country’s equivalent of America’s NSA or Britain’s GCHQ, known as Unit 8200 – or in Hebrew as Yehida Shmoneh-Matayim.

 

They allege that the “all-encompassing” intelligence the unit gathers on Palestinians – much of it concerning innocent people – is used for “political persecution” and to create divisions in Palestinian society.

 

The largest intelligence unit in the Israeli military, Unit 8200 intercepts electronic communications including email, phone calls and social media in addition to targeting military and diplomatic traffic.

 

The signatories say, however, that a large part of their work was unrelated to Israel’s security or defence, but appeared designed to perpetuate the occupation by “infiltrating” and “controlling” all aspects of Palestinian life.

 

Written in uncompromising language the letter states: “We, veterans of Unit 8200, reserve soldiers both past and present, declare that we refuse to take part in actions against Palestinians and refuse to continue serving as tools in deepening the military control over the Occupied Territories.”

 

They add: “The Palestinian population under military rule is completely exposed to espionage and surveillance by Israeli intelligence. It is used for political persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators and driving parts of Palestinian society against itself. In many cases, intelligence prevents defendants from receiving a fair trial in military courts, as the evidence against them is not revealed.”


How the NSA Helped Turkey Kill Kurdish Rebels – The Intercept

How the NSA Helped Turkey Kill Kurdish Rebels – The Intercept.

BY  AND Featured photo - How the NSA Helped Turkey Kill Kurdish Rebels

 

On a December night in 2011, a terrible thing happened on Mount Cudi, near the Turkish-Iraqi border. One side described it as a massacre; the other called it an accident.

Several Turkish F-16 fighter jets bombed a caravan of villagers that night, apparently under the belief that they were guerilla fighters with the separatist Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). The group was returning from northern Iraq and their mules were loaded down with fuel canisters and other cargo. They turned out to be smugglers, not PKK fighters. Some 34 people died in the attack.

An American Predator drone flying overhead had detected the group, prompting U.S. analysts to alert their Turkish partners.

The reconnaissance flight—which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal in 2012—and its tragic consequences provided an important insight into the very tight working relationship between American and Turkish intelligence services in the fight against Kurdish separatists. Although the PKK is still considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, its image has been improved radically by its recent success in fighting ISIS in northern Iraq and Syria. PKK fighters—backed by U.S. airstrikes—are on the front lines against the jihadist movement there, and some in the West are now advocating arming the group and lifting its terrorist label.

Documents from the archive of U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden thatDer Spiegel and The Intercept have seen show just how deeply involved America has become in Turkey’s fight against the Kurds. For a time, the NSA even delivered its Turkish partners with the mobile phone location data of PKK leaders on an hourly basis. The U.S. government also provided the Turks with information about PKK money flows, and the whereabouts of some of its leaders living in exile abroad.

At the same time, the Snowden documents also show that Turkey is one of the United States’ leading targets for spying. Documents show that the political leadership in Washington, D.C., has tasked the NSA with divining Turkey’s “leadership intention,” as well as monitoring its operations in 18 other key areas. This means that Germany’s foreign intelligence service, which drew criticism in recent weeks after it was revealed it had been spying on Turkey, isn’t the only secret service interested in keeping tabs on the government in Ankara.


NPR Is Laundering CIA Talking Points to Make You Scared of NSA Reporting – The Intercept

NPR Is Laundering CIA Talking Points to Make You Scared of NSA Reporting – The Intercept.

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Featured photo - NPR Is Laundering CIA Talking Points to Make You Scared of NSA Reporting Photo credit: Charles Dharapak/AP

On August 1, NPR’s Morning Edition broadcast a story by NPR national security reporter Dina Temple-Raston touting explosive claims from what she called “a tech firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.” That firm, Recorded Future, worked together with “a cyber expert, Mario Vuksan, the CEO of ReversingLabs,” to produce a new report that purported to vindicate the repeated accusation from U.S. officials that “revelations from former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden harmed national security and allowed terrorists to develop their own countermeasures.”

The “big data firm,” reported NPR, says that it now “has tangible evidence” proving the government’s accusations. Temple-Raston’s four-minute, 12-second story devoted the first 3 minutes and 20 seconds to uncritically repeating the report’s key conclusion that ”just months after the Snowden documents were released, al-Qaeda dramatically changed the way its operatives interacted online” and, post-Snowden, “al-Qaeda didn’t just tinker at the edges of its seven-year-old encryption software; it overhauled it.” The only skepticism in the NPR report was relegated to 44 seconds at the end when she quoted security expert Bruce Schneier, who questioned the causal relationship between the Snowden disclosures and the new terrorist encryption programs, as well as the efficacy of the new encryption.


Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack – The Intercept

Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack – The Intercept.

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Featured photo - Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack U.S. President Barack Obama (L) greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference on March 20, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. Photo credit: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

The U.S. government has long lavished overwhelming aid on Israel, providing cash, weapons and surveillance technology that play a crucial role in Israel’s attacks on its neighbors. But top secret documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shed substantial new light on how the U.S. and its partners directly enable Israel’s military assaults – such as the one on Gaza.

Over the last decade, the NSA has significantly increased the surveillance assistance it provides to its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU; also known as Unit 8200), including data used to monitor and target Palestinians. In many cases, the NSA and ISNU work cooperatively with the British and Canadian spy agencies, the GCHQ and CSEC.

The relationship has, on at least one occasion, entailed the covert payment of a large amount of cash to Israeli operatives. Beyond their own surveillance programs, the American and British surveillance agencies rely on U.S.-supported Arab regimes, including the Jordanian monarchy and even the Palestinian Authority Security Forces, to provide vital spying services regarding Palestinian targets.

The new documents underscore the indispensable, direct involvement of the U.S. government and its key allies in Israeli aggression against its neighbors. That covert support is squarely at odds with the posture of helpless detachment typically adopted by Obama officials and their supporters.

President Obama, in his press conference on Friday, said ”it is heartbreaking to see what’s happening there,” referring to the weeks of civilian deaths in Gaza – “as if he’s just a bystander, watching it all unfold,” observed Brooklyn College Professor Corey Robin. Robin added: ”Obama talks about Gaza as if it were a natural disaster, an uncontrollable biological event.”

Each time Israel attacks Gaza and massacres its trapped civilian population – at the end of 2008, in the fall of 2012, and now again this past month – the same process repeats itself in both U.S. media and government circles: the U.S. government feeds Israel the weapons it uses and steadfastly defends its aggression both publicly and at the U.N.; the U.S. Congress unanimously enacts one resolution after the next to support and enable Israel; and then American media figures pretend that the Israeli attack has nothing to do with their country, that it’s just some sort of unfortunately intractable, distant conflict between two equally intransigent foreign parties in response to which all decent Americans helplessly throw up their hands as though they bear no responsibility.


Barack Obama's Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers – The InterceptThe Intercept

Barack Obama’s Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers – The InterceptThe Intercept.

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Nearly half of the people on the U.S. government’s widely shared database of terrorist suspects are not connected to any known terrorist group, according to classified government documents obtained by The Intercept.

Of the 680,000 people caught up in the government’s Terrorist Screening Database—a watchlist of “known or suspected terrorists” that is shared with local law enforcement agencies, private contractors, and foreign governments—more than 40 percent are described by the government as having “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” That category—280,000 people—dwarfs the number of watchlisted people suspected of ties to al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah combined.

The documents, obtained from a source in the intelligence community, also reveal that the Obama Administration has presided over an unprecedented expansion of the terrorist screening system. Since taking office, Obama has boosted the number of people on the no fly list more than ten-fold, to an all-time high of 47,000—surpassing the number of people barred from flying under George W. Bush.

“If everything is terrorism, then nothing is terrorism,” says David Gomez, a former senior FBI special agent. The watchlisting system, he adds, is “revving out of control.”

Shrug Chart - Josh Begley

The classified documents were prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center, the lead agency for tracking individuals with suspected links to international terrorism. Stamped “SECRET” and “NOFORN” (indicating they are not to be shared with foreign governments), they offer the most complete numerical picture of the watchlisting system to date. Among the revelations:

• The second-highest concentration of people designated as “known or suspected terrorists” by the government is in Dearborn, Mich.—a city of 96,000 that has the largest percentage of Arab-American residents in the country.

• The government adds names to its databases, or adds information on existing subjects, at a rate of 900 records each day.

• The CIA uses a previously unknown program, code-named Hydra, to secretly access databases maintained by foreign countries and extract  data to add to the watchlists.


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.


Liam Fox calls for greater surveillance powers for security services | UK news | The Guardian

Liam Fox calls for greater surveillance powers for security services | UK news | The Guardian.

Former defence secretary says intelligence agencies must be allowed to gather more data on British citizens fighting abroad
Liam Fox

Liam Fox on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday: ‘The whole area of intercept needs to be looked at.’ Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA

Britain’s security services may need greater powers of surveillance to monitor British citizens who have gone to join the fighting in Syria andIraq, according to the former Conservative defence secretary Liam Fox.

As further details emerged about the latest young Britons to join Sunni insurgents, Fox said that the majority of people in the UK would accept that the level of the threat meant that officials would need greater powers to intercept the communications of extremists.

“The whole area of intercept needs to be looked at,” he said. “We have got a real debate, and it is a genuine debate in a democracy, between the libertarians who say the state must not get too powerful and pretty much the rest of us who say the state must protect itself.”

Asked whether this meant more surveillance and increasing the resources for the intelligence agencies, Fox told the BBC: “If required, it is the first duty of the state to protect its citizens … it is a real worry and it is a problem that is going to be with us for a very long time. At heart it is an ideological battle and we have to realise that we have to win the ideological battle as well.”


Chomsky/ Edward Snowden, el criminal más buscado | SurySur

Chomsky/ Edward Snowden, el criminal más buscado | SurySur.

jun22014

Chomsky/ Edward Snowden, el criminal más buscado

eeuu snowden en nbc

En meses pasados hemos recibido lecciones instructivas sobre la naturaleza del poder del Estado y las fuerzas que impulsan su política. Y sobre un asunto íntimamente relacionado: el sutil y diferenciado concepto de la transparencia.

La fuente de la instrucción, por supuesto, es el conjunto de documentos relativos al sistema de vigilancia de la Agencia Nacional de Seguridad (NSA, por sus siglas en inglés) dados a conocer por el valeroso luchador por la libertad Edward J. Snowden, resumidos de manera experta y analizados por su colaborador Glenn Greenwald en su nuevo libro No place to hide (Sin lugar para esconderse).

Los documentos revelan un notable proyecto destinado a exponer al escrutinio estatal información vital acerca de toda persona que cae en las garras del coloso: en principio, de toda persona vinculada con la moderna sociedad electrónica.

Nada tan ambicioso fue jamás imaginado por los profetas distópicos que describieron sombríos mundos totalitarios. No es de poca importancia que el proyecto sea ejecutado en uno de los países más libres del planeta y en radical violación de la Carta de Derechos de la Constitución de Estados Unidos, que protege a los ciudadanos de “persecuciones y capturas sin motivo” y garantiza la privacidad de sus “personas, domicilios, documentos y pertenencias”.

Por mucho que lo intenten los legistas del gobierno, no hay forma de reconciliar estos principios con el asalto a la población que revelan los documentos de Snowden.


Privacy under attack: the NSA files revealed new threats to democracy | Technology | The Guardian

Privacy under attack: the NSA files revealed new threats to democracy | Technology | The Guardian.

Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know the apparatus of repression has been covertly attached to the democratic state. However, our struggle to retain privacy is far from hopeless

US National Security Agency
The US National Security Agency threat operations centre in Fort Meade, Maryland, in 2006. Photograph: Paul Richards/AFP/Getty Images

In the third chapter of his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon gave two reasons why the slavery into which the Romans had tumbled under Augustus and his successors left them more wretched than any previous human slavery. In the first place, Gibbon said, the Romans had carried with them into slavery the culture of a free people: their language and their conception of themselves as human beings presupposed freedom. And thus, says Gibbon, for a long time the Romans preserved the sentiments – or at least the ideas – of a freeborn people. In the second place, the empire of the Romans filled all the world, and when that empire fell into the hands of a single person, the world was a safe and dreary prison for his enemies. As Gibbon wrote, to resist was fatal, and it was impossible to fly.

The power of that Roman empire rested in its leaders’ control of communications. The Mediterranean was their lake. Across their European empire, from Scotland to Syria, they pushed roads that 15 centuries later were still primary arteries of European transportation. Down those roads the emperor marched his armies. Up those roads he gathered his intelligence. The emperors invented the posts to move couriers and messages at the fastest possible speed.

Using that infrastructure, with respect to everything that involved the administration of power, the emperor made himself the best-informed person in the history of the world.

That power eradicated human freedom. “Remember,” said Cicero to Marcellus in exile, “wherever you are, you are equally within the power of the conqueror.”

The empire of the United States after the second world war also depended upon control of communications. This was more evident when, a mere 20 years later, the United States was locked in a confrontation of nuclear annihilation with the Soviet Union. In a war of submarines hidden in the dark below the continents, capable of eradicating human civilisation in less than an hour, the rule of engagement was “launch on warning”. Thus the United States valued control of communications as highly as the Emperor Augustus. Its listeners too aspired to know everything.

We all know that the United States has for decades spent as much on its military might as all other powers in the world combined. Americans are now realising what it means that we applied to the stealing of signals and the breaking of codes a similar proportion of our resources in relation to the rest of the world.

The US system of listening comprises a military command controlling a large civilian workforce. That structure presupposes the foreign intelligence nature of listening activities. Military control was a symbol and guarantee of the nature of the activity being pursued. Wide-scale domestic surveillance under military command would have violated the fundamental principle of civilian control.

Instead what it had was a foreign intelligence service responsible to the president as military commander-in-chief. The chain of military command absolutely ensured respect for the fundamental principle “no listening here”. The boundary between home and away distinguished the permissible from the unconstitutional.

The distinction between home and away was at least technically credible, given the reality of 20th-century communications media, which were hierarchically organised and very often state-controlled.

When the US government chose to listen to other governments abroad – to their militaries, to their diplomatic communications, to their policymakers where possible – they were listening in a world of defined targets. The basic principle was: hack, tap, steal. We listened, we hacked in, we traded, we stole.

In the beginning we listened to militaries and their governments. Later we monitored the flow of international trade as far as it engaged American national security interests.


Keith Alexander Unplugged: on Bush/Obama, 1.7 million stolen documents and other matters – The Intercept

Keith Alexander Unplugged: on Bush/Obama, 1.7 million stolen documents and other matters – The Intercept.

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Featured photo - Keith Alexander Unplugged: on Bush/Obama, 1.7 million stolen documents and other matters Photo credit: Evan Vucci/AP

The just-retired long-time NSA chief, Gen. Keith Alexander, recently traveled to Australia to give a remarkably long and wide-ranging interview with an extremely sycophantic “interviewer” with The Australian Financial Review. The resulting 17,000-word transcript and accompanying article form a model of uncritical stenography journalism, but Alexander clearly chose to do this because he is angry, resentful, and feeling unfairly treated, and the result is a pile of quotes that are worth examining, only a few of which are noted below:

AFR: What were the key differences for you as director of NSA serving under presidents Bush and Obama? Did you have a preferred commander in chief?

Gen. Alexander: Obviously they come from different parties, they view things differently, but when it comes to the security of the nation and making those decisions about how to protect our nation, what we need to do to defend it, they are, ironically, very close to the same point. You would get almost the same decision from both of them on key questions about how to defend our nation from terrorists and other threats.

The almost-complete continuity between George W. Bush and Barack Obama on such matters has been explained by far too many senior officials in both parties, and has been amply documented in far too many venues, to make it newsworthy when it happens again. Still, the fact that one of the nation’s most powerful generals in history, who has no incentive to say it unless it were true, just comes right out and states that Bush and The Candidate of Change are “very close to the same point” and “you would get almost the same decision from both of them on key questions” is a fine commentary on a number of things, including how adept the 2008 Obama team was at the art of branding.

The fact that Obama, in 2008, specifically vowed to his followers angered over his campaign-season NSA reversal that he possessed “the firm intention — once I’m sworn in as president — to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future” only makes that point a bit more vivid.


A Global Campaign to Monitor the "Digital Weapons" Trade | TechPresident

A Global Campaign to Monitor the “Digital Weapons” Trade | TechPresident.

BY Carola Frediani | Tuesday, April 8 2014

A map from the CAUSE website shows where surveillance technology has been sold to countries with spotty human rights records.

It might seem that there is little connection between Milan and the atrocities occurring in Syria under the regime of President Bashar al-Assad but we now know that a little known Italian tech company called Area SpA was providing Assad with technology that could virtually allow him to seize and search any e-mail that passed through the country. Unfortunately, such an example is now fairly commonplace: Vodafone in Egypt, as well as Siemens and Nokia in Iran, to name a few.

Though Area SpA later announced it was curtailing its surveillance project in Syria, in an alarming trend, surveillance technology companies, many of them in western countries with decent human rights records are selling such technology to countries with fairly sinister ones. This problem, which some activists have called the “digital arms trade” is global and complex in nature and is at the heart of a new global campaign launched on April 4 by an international group of leading NGOs. They banded together to create the Coalition Against Unlawful Surveillance Exports (CAUSE), calling for governments to take action on the international trade in communication surveillance technologies.

The group — which includes Amnesty International, Digitale Gesellschaft, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Human Rights Watch, the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, Privacy International, and Reporters without Borders — wants governments and private companies to tackle the proliferation and abuse of these technologies across the world, since they are more often than not used to violate their citizens’ right to privacy, free speech and a host of other human rights. World leaders are responsible for keeping such invasive surveillance systems and technologies out of the hands of dictators and oppressive regimes, said the coalition’s organizers.

“What is unique about the CAUSE coalition are the groups that are part of it,” Mike Rispoli, Communication Manager of UK-based Privacy International, says to techPresident. “You have organizations like Privacy International, as well as Open Technology Institute or Digitale Gesellschaft, that focus on technology, digital rights, etc., but you also have more traditional human rights groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters without Borders. The reason why this is so important is that there’s a broad recognition that surveillance technologies pose significant threat to the enjoyment of rights around the world, not just the right to privacy but also freedom of expression.”

What exactly do these technologies do? There is malware that allows surreptitious data extraction from personal devices such as phone and PCs; tools that can intercept telecommunications traffic; spygear that geolocates mobile phones and can therefore track their owners; monitoring systems that allow authorities to track entire populations; and devices used to tap undersea fiber optic cables to enable NSA-style internet monitoring and filtering.


Putin calls internet a 'CIA project' renewing fears of web breakup | World news | theguardian.com

Putin calls internet a ‘CIA project’ renewing fears of web breakup | World news | theguardian.com.

Russian president’s remark fans idea that has gained ground in Germany, Brazil and elsewhere after Edward Snowden’s revelations

 

 

Vladimir Putin at media forum in St Petersburg

Vladimir Putin at media forum in St Petersburg. The Russian president has long hinted that he wants a Russian-run alternative to the internet. Photograph: Mikhail Klimentiev/Ria Novosti/EPA

 

Vladimir Putin gave his clearest signal yet that he aims to break up the global nature of the internet when he branded the network a “CIA project” on Thursday.

The Russian president told a media conference in St Petersburg that America’s overseas espionage agency had originally set up the internet and was continuing to develop it.

Putin has long hinted that he wants a Russian-run alternative. The idea of breaking up the internet has gained ground in Germany, Brazil and elsewhere round the world in the light of the revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden about the extent to which the US National Security Agency has infiltrated Facebook, Skype and other social media.