Intelligence

Ecuador removes Julian Assange’s extra security

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Ecuador has removed extra security at its London embassy following claims that $5m (£3.7m) was spent to protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. BBC The money was used to monitor Mr Assange’s visitors, embassy staff and UK police, media reports in the UK and Ecuador said. Mr Assange has been at the embassy since 2012 after being granted asylum. He fled there to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, which he denies. The Swedish authorities have since dropped their ... Read More »

At a crossroads, Part II: No more shadows: The future of intelligence oversight in Congress

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In the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall, M (Judi Dench) and Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) debate how to respond to a leak that has led to the assassination of several MI6 intelligence agents. Tommy Ross War On The Rocks They are torn between a desire to ensure that MI6, Britain’s premier spy agency, remains a credible part of British democratic institutions and the need to avoid antiquation in the face of rapidly changing technology and… At one point, Mallory laments, “We ... Read More »

Victorian Parliament detects almost 6,000 hacking attempts on its IT systems

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There were nearly 6,000 attempts to hack into the Victorian Parliament’s IT systems in April alone, with the United States topping the list of source countries. Stephanie Anderson ABC Nearly 3,000 attempts originated from the United States last month and more than 1,000 came from Japan, according to figures shared at a budget estimates hearing on Tuesday. Only 547 attempts were detected from Australian would-be hackers. While the United States may have concerns about Russian interference in… Victorian Parliament detects… Read More »

‘Dangerous times’: Police to have new powers to check IDs at airports

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Police will be given sweeping new powers to demand identification from travellers under new laws to boost counter-terrorism efforts at Australia’s airports. Fergus Hunter The Age The Australian Federal Police will be able to ask anyone for ID and eject them from the airport under the changes that will also see the introduction of advanced X-ray and body scanning machines. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull conceded the new powers were a big step but said they were necessary for “dangerous… Mr ... Read More »

‘Flagrant’ Kremlin breaches international rules: UK intel chief

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Russia is committing “flagrant breaches of international rules,” the head of Britain’s security service claimed May 14 in which he will also stress the importance of post-Brexit security ties. LONDON – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet MI5 chief Andrew Parker said in a landmark speech in Berlin that a March nerve agent attack on Russian nationals Sergei and Yulia Skripal, which also injured a police officer, was a “deliberate and… Parker, who has a 35-year career in intelligence will say the attack is evidence of Russia pursuing an agenda through “aggressive ... Read More »

Intelligence agencies of Russia, Turkey discuss counterterrorism efforts

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Heads of intelligence agencies of Russia and Turkey discussed in Istanbul cooperation in the fight against international terrorism, head of the press office of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) of Russia Sergei… Trend “On May 13, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation Sergei Naryshkin held a meeting in Istanbul with Director of the National Intelligence Organization of Turkey (MIT) Hakan… The heads of intelligence agencies of the two countries discussed further strengthening cooperation in the fight ... Read More »

The Making of a Kurdish Mandela

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By keeping a key challenger in jail, Turkey’s government risks making Selahattin Demirtas an even more popular and formidable opponent. Henri J. Barkey FP The Turkish government has just called snap presidential and parliamentary elections, which will be held on June 24. Most analysts are predicting that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) will sail to victory primarily because of the weakness of the main opposition parties and… He also appears to have developed ... Read More »

Explainer: how the Australian intelligence community works

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National security, intelligence and espionage have been in the headlines due to events abroad and significant developments at home. John Blaxland The Conversation News of diplomatic expulsions, cyber-attacks, leaked documents about sweeping new surveillance powers and the creation of a new Home Affairs Department make it hard to follow. What’s more, everyone has heard of the CIA, for instance, but Australia’s own national security organisations are comparatively unknown. So how is intelligence gathered? What are Australia’s peak national security bodies ... Read More »

Dick Cheney Suggests Restarting Torture Interrogation Program

Former Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada February 24, 2017. REUTERS/David Becker

Cheney’s comments come as lawmakers have scrutinized CIA director nominee Gina Haspel for her role in overseeing the controversial program. Lydia O’Connor HuffPost Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday expressed strong support for restarting the torture interrogation program he helped launch in the wake of 9/11. In an appearance on Fox Business to discuss Gina Haspel’s confirmation hearing to become CIA director, Cheney said he “wholeheartedly” supports the so-called enhanced interrogation program, which includes torture techniques such as waterboarding, despite Congress having ... Read More »

New laws put Australia’s press freedom at risk

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According to the Human Rights Law Centre, federal national security laws must be “seriously reworked” to properly protect journalists, their sources and a robust Australian democracy. Melissa Coade LawyersWeekly Legal advocacy director from the Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC), Dr Aruna Sathanapally, has argued that a free press should not be something that those in power merely tolerated. A free press was a vital mechanism of accountability, she suggested, and a robust democracy depended on it. “Journalists must be free ... Read More »

Dutton’s home affairs department argues against restrictions on facial recognition

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Concerns have been raised about the Coalition’s facial-recognition bill, with critics saying it goes far beyond what has been agreed Paul Karp The Guardian Peter Dutton’s home affairs department has fought against proposed restrictions on a new facial-recognition system, rejecting calls for warrants and a threshold for serious offences that justify use of the… At a parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security hearing on Thursday the Law Council of Australia raised concerns that facial recognition could be used to ... Read More »

Can We Save Privacy by Treating Info Like Private Property?

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Treating all personal information as private property is far from a clear and simple solution. Amitai Etzioni The National Interest Treating personal information like private property is a popular solution to the threats to privacy in the cyber age. It has only one problem; it is unworkable, at least if you care about public health, science, commerce, safety and security (among other public goods). The essence of the idea is that if someone wants to use a piece of personal ... Read More »

More Than 100 Retired Military Leaders Raise Concerns About CIA Nominee Gina Haspel

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Over 100 retired military leaders have joined the list of outside groups voicing concern about President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. Maya Rhodan Time In a letter to members of the U.S. Senate, 109 retired generals and admirals said they were “deeply troubled” by the prospect of Gina Haspel being named CIA director given her links to the former U.S. torture program. “We devoted our lives to the defense of our country. We know that fidelity ... Read More »

UK and US accuse Russia of cyber attack that compromised global networks

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Washington and London have detailed how Russian-backed hackers have been compromising network devices around the world since 2015. Alexander Pearson (with Reuters and AFP) – DW The announcement has come amid heightened tensions between the two countries and Russia. The US and Britain warned on Monday of a Russian government-sponsored cyber attack against internet network infrastructure around the world. Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre, the US Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a joint statement on the attack, which ... Read More »

Preventing Boko Haram Abductions of Schoolchildren in Nigeria

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Four years after the abductions in Chibok, and months after more kidnappings in Dapchi, over 100 schoolgirls are still missing. Nigeria must act to make schools safe – beefing up security, learning from past mistakes and, ultimately, working to end the Boko Haram insurgency. What’s new? In February, a faction of the jihadist Boko Haram movement, seized 113 children from Dapchi in north east Nigeria. ICG It later released 107 of them. Five reportedly died; one remains captive. This comes ... Read More »

Beijing’s South China Sea Military Bases Now Have Jammers That Can Block American Radar and Communications, U.S. Claims

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United States officials claimed that China has installed military jamming equipment on fortified artificial islands in the South China Sea which will allow Beijing to block enemy radar and communications systems. David Brennan Newsweek This latest step in China’s militarization of its island bases signifies Beijing’s determination to assert its regional territorial claims, regardless of U.S. opposition. According to The Wall Street Journal, the jamming systems were installed within the last 90 days. The Journal quoted a U.S. Defense Department official who said ... Read More »