Documents support fears of Muslim surveillance by Obama-era program | World news | The Guardian

Internal US law enforcement documents describe a highly controversial community initiative aimed at identifying potential terrorists before they “radicalize” as being intimately related to intelligence gathering.Despite years of official denials, American Muslim civil rights groups have claimed that Barack Obama’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) initiative was a euphemistic approach that targeted Muslims for surveillance.

Fuente: Documents support fears of Muslim surveillance by Obama-era program | World news | The Guardian


Empresas tecnológicas denuncian decreto antiinmigración de Trump ante la justicia

Varias decenas de empresas tecnológicas, incluidas Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft y Twitter, presentaron la noche del domingo un documento legal ante la justicia de Estados Unidos contra el decreto antiinmigración del presidente Donald Trump.

Fuente: Empresas tecnológicas denuncian decreto antiinmigración de Trump ante la justicia


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.


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


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.” 


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.


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.


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.


Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On – The InterceptThe Intercept

Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On – The InterceptThe Intercept.

By  and 

The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers—under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies.

According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the list of Americans monitored by their own government includes:

• Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush;

• Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases;

• Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University;

• Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights;

• Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.

The individuals appear on an NSA spreadsheet in the Snowden archives called “FISA recap”—short for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Under that law, the Justice Department must convince a judge with the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that there is probable cause to believe that American targets are not only agents of an international terrorist organization or other foreign power, but also “are or may be” engaged in or abetting espionage, sabotage, or terrorism. The authorizations must be renewed by the court, usually every 90 days for U.S. citizens.

The spreadsheet shows 7,485 email addresses listed as monitored between 2002 and 2008. Many of the email addresses on the list appear to belong to foreigners whom the government believes are linked to Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Among the Americans on the list are individuals long accused of terrorist activity, including Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, who were killed in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen.

But a three-month investigation by The Intercept—including interviews with more than a dozen current and former federal law enforcement officials involved in the FISA process—reveals that in practice, the system for authorizing NSA surveillance affords the government wide latitude in spying on U.S. citizens.

The five Americans whose email accounts were monitored by the NSA and FBI have all led highly public, outwardly exemplary lives. All five vehemently deny any involvement in terrorism or espionage, and none advocates violent jihad or is known to have been implicated in any crime, despite years of intense scrutiny by the government and the press. Some have even climbed the ranks of the U.S. national security and foreign policy establishments.


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.