Intelligence

Paul Manafort Agrees to Cooperate With Special Counsel; Pleads Guilty to Reduced Charges

NYT logo 1a

WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort agreed on Friday to tell all he knows to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as part of a plea deal that could shape the final stages of the inquiry into Russian interference in the… By Sharon LaFraniere and Kenneth P. Vogel The New York Times The deal was a surrender by Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, who had vowed for months to prove his innocence in a case stemming from his work ... Read More »

Jailing of Reuters journalists ‘nothing to do with freedom of expression’, says Aung San Suu Kyi

Mode 4d

Myanmar’s State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, says two jailed Reuters journalists can appeal their seven-year sentence, and that their jailing had nothing to do with freedom of expression. ABC Asked how she felt about jailing journalists as a democratic leader, Suu Kyi said: “They were not jailed because they were journalists, they were jailed because … the court has decided that they have broken the… She made her comments at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi on ... Read More »

New book offers vital background on the Iran nuclear deal

Rezai 1a

Wendy Sherman may not have the highest name recognition outside of Washington — but that’s what you might expect from a former top State Department official whose job included delicate negotiations with old adversaries and… Jason Rezaian The Washington Post Now she has just come out with a new memoir that fills a valuable gap in recent history by providing a detailed look at the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal. Sherman was the lead negotiator for the ... Read More »

German spy chief passed info to AfD: report

Protek 3c

Hans-Georg Maassen, president of Germany’s domestic intelligence service, allegedly passed on sensitive data from a report to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). Ben Knight DW The spy chief has already faced calls to resign. The relationship between Germany’s domestic spy chief Hans-Georg Maassen and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) came under renewed scrutiny on Thursday, when it was revealed that the head of the domestic intelligence service, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) had passed on ... Read More »

UK charges two Russians over Salisbury poisoning of Skripals

Proc 2b

British prosecutors have charged two Russians with the Novichok poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. A European arrest warrant has been issued, although Russia does not extradite its… DW British prosecutors announced on Wednesday they had collected sufficient evidence to charge two Russians with the attempted murder of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Authorities issued a European arrest warrant for two men named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, both aged around 40. Photographs of the ... Read More »

‘A convicted terrorist and a convicted spy’ walk into the Opera House… and get a standing ovation

Proso 4d

Days after it was announced that she would not be granted an Australian visa in time for her scheduled appearance in Sydney, American whistleblower Chelsea Manning has received a standing ovation after speaking at the… Maani Truu WAtoday Ms Manning, who is best known for leaking classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks, was speaking with Australian journalist Peter Greste as part of the weekend’s Antidote Festival, albeit by virtually appearing on stage via… “A convicted terrorist and a convicted ... Read More »

Turkey’s intel agency trafficked drugs and stolen vehicles to jihadists in Syria

Boz 2b

A hushed-up investigation in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara in early 2014 reveals how intelligence officers on the payroll of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) were involved in drug trafficking and… Abdullah Bozkurt TurkishMinute The confidential probe pursued by Turkish military intelligence into the activities of drug traffickers and an auto theft gang in Ankara exposed seven MİT agents who were unlawfully transporting drugs and… The clandestine operation was in clear breach of dozens of Turkish criminal laws as well ... Read More »

Timor-Leste praises Witness K’s actions in helping resolve maritime border

Lest 5e

New foreign minister says the country has begun a new chapter in its relations with Australia Helen Davidson The Guardian The actions of Witness K and Bernard Collaery were a valued part of the “collective effort” that led to the historic maritime boundary treaty between Australia and Timor-Leste, the Timorese foreign minister has said. In an exclusive interview with Guardian Australia, the foreign minister of Timor-Leste, Dionísio Babo Soares, said the two nations were at a new stage of their ... Read More »

Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents

Illustration by Kotryna Zukauskaite

The number of informants executed in the debacle is higher than initially thought. Zach Dorfman FP It was considered one of the CIA’s worst failures in decades: Over a two-year period starting in late 2010, Chinese authorities systematically dismantled the agency’s network of agents across the country, executing dozens of suspected U.S. spies. But since then, a question has loomed over the entire debacle. How were the Chinese able to roll up the network? Now, nearly eight years later, it ... Read More »

New data access bill shows we need to get serious about privacy with independent oversight of the law

Cere 7g

The federal government today announced its proposed legislation to give law enforcement agencies yet more avenues to reach into our private lives through access to our personal communications and data. Greg Austin The Conversation This never-ending story of parliamentary bills defies logic, and is not offering the necessary oversight and protections. The trend has been led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, with help from an ever-growing number of security ministers and senior officials. Could it be that the proliferation of ... Read More »

If Other Countries Knew How Australia Stops The Boats It Could Damage Foreign Relations, Peter Dutton Told

Tsek 2b

The minister’s 245-page incoming brief has been obtained by BuzzFeed News. Josh Taylor Revealing Australia’s role in turning back boats and other border enforcement operations could affect Australia’s relationship with other countries, home affairs minister Peter Dutton was told by his department. Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) is a military operation initiated under the Abbott government in 2013 to stop the flow of boats bringing asylum seekers to Australia. The operation works in secrecy and very little information about what is ... Read More »

Julian Assange: What next for the Australian-born hacker, who may soon face eviction from Ecuadorian embassy

Frea 1a

Julian Assange’s six-year stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London is drawing to a close, with Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno signalling progress on a deal with the United Kingdom to evict the… The Signal – By Stephen Smiley and Penny Timms ΑΒC Mr Assange has been living in the embassy in the Knightsbridge neighbourhood of London since 2012, when he first sought asylum there while on bail awaiting a possible extradition to Sweden to face an… The Swedish investigation was dropped ... Read More »

A short and disturbing history of Australia’s spy scandals

XCW 1a

Over and over, the history of intelligence services in Australia is that the only people made to suffer are those who reveal wrongdoing or incompetence. Bernard Keane Crikey We are regularly told that Australia has outstanding intelligence services and an enviable domestic security record. But, in fact, Australia’s intelligence services have long displayed incompetence and misconduct. The following list of scandals and failures of Australia’s intelligence agencies in the last 30 years illustrates an ongoing problem: the lack of adequate ... Read More »

We’re racist towards robots, too, study finds

Robots 1a

Have you ever wondered why you rarely see a brown or black robot? A couple of researchers at Monash University in Melbourne and Canterbury University in New Zealand were having trouble finding any — why were all the robots white? RN Drive – By Barbara Heggen and Mariella Attard – ABC It led them to investigate whether people ascribe race to robots, and if this changed their behaviour towards them. What they discovered was that humans carry their racial biases over to ... Read More »

The shaky case for prosecuting Witness K and his lawyer in the Timor-Leste spying scandal

Timor Oil 2b Antonio Dasiparu EPA

Much of the media commentary on the government prosecution of Witness K and his lawyer Bernard Collaery has focused on government duplicity in suppressing the trial until it had its oil and gas treaty signed with Timor-Leste. John Braithwaite The Conversation But this focus on government hypocrisy has neglected the accountability of the director of public prosecutions, Sarah McNaughton. The prosecution policy of the Commonwealth says: The decision to prosecute must not be influenced by any political advantage or disadvantage ... Read More »

Germany’s falling behind on tech, and Merkel knows it

A-box featured image

Party politics and cultural inertia bedevil efforts to shift into high gear on artificial intelligence. Janosch Delcker Politico One of the first things Angela Merkel told a group of experts in artificial intelligence during a closed-door meeting in late May was that they should be frank with her. “I’m used to bad news,” Merkel said, according to a participant’s recollection. The German chancellor had just returned from China, where she spent a day in the Shenzhen tech hub visiting companies like ICarbonX, ... Read More »