Intelligence

Blindfold Big Brother: We Need a Global Right to Privacy in Public Spaces

Does privacy depend on secrecy? The question seems obvious until you think about it. Kenneth Roth Published in Newsweek HRW Yes, much of the privacy we value takes place away from prying eyes, but not all of it. We also depend on a degree of privacy even in public. But increasingly invasive digital surveillance combined with artificial intelligence has put that “public” privacy in jeopardy. I live in New York City. When I walk the streets of Manhattan, anyone could ... Read More »

Ethics of AI: how should we treat rational, sentient robots – if they existed?

Imagine a world where humans co-existed with beings who, like us, had minds, thoughts, feelings, self-conscious awareness and the capacity to perform purposeful actions – but, unlike us, these beings had artificial mechanical bodies that could be switched on and off. Hugh McLachlan The Conversation That brave new world would throw up many issues as we came to terms with our robot counterparts as part and parcel of everyday life. How should we behave towards them? What moral duties would ... Read More »

Turkish spy agency develops phone app to help ex-pats inform on dissidents

Turkey’s spy agency has developed a smart phone application to enable pro-government Turks living in Germany inform on their compatriots who speak out against the ruling Justice and… Joseph Fitsanakis IntelNews The existence of the phone application was revealed in the annual report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s primary counterintelligence agency. The report covers terrorist and foreign intelligence activity that took place in 2018 in Baden-Württemberg, a state in southwest Germany that borders ... Read More »

‘He is innocent’: Assange ally Ola Bini imprisoned in Ecuador takes case to UN

A close friend of Julian Assange was arrested in Ecuador in April and remains behind bars without charge. SBS Supporters of a Julian Assange ally who is imprisoned in Ecuador without charge have called his ongoing detention “illegal” and want the United Nations to investigate the case. Swedish national Ola Bini, 36, was arrested while trying to leave Ecuador for Japan on 11 April – the day the country withdrew its offer of asylum to Mr Assange, who had taken ... Read More »

Facial recognition tech is arsenic in the water of democracy, says Liberty

Human rights group calls on England and Wales to ban police use of AFR in public spaces Ian Sample The Guardian Automated facial recognition poses one of the greatest threats to individual freedom and should be banned from use in public spaces, according to the director of the campaign group Liberty. Martha Spurrier, a human rights lawyer, said the technology had such fundamental problems that, despite police enthusiasm for the equipment, its use on the streets should not be permitted. ... Read More »

Australia’s raids on journalists reflect a creeping surveillance state

This week, Australians woke up to the alarming realization that their government has been quietly promoting a creeping surveillance state at the expense of press freedom and democratic values. Emily Howie The Washington Post It should mark a moment of reckoning for the country and its entire approach to media and public transparency. On Wednesday, officers from the Australian Federal Police appeared at the Sydney headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s national broadcaster. Armed with a warrant over a 2017 ... Read More »

Why we should care about Julian Assange? Because next time they come for us…

Wikileaks co-founder, Julian Assange, in 2010 published information provided to him by then-US Army Pfc. Bradley E. Manning that comprised nearly 750,000 classified, or unclassified but sensitive, military and… Murray Hunter OnLineOpinion Among those documents was a collateral murder film clip that showed US Apache helicopters killing people in Iraq including two local Reuters news agency employees, exposing a US military cover-up. The military had claimed that the helicopters were responding to an active firefight and that all killed were ... Read More »

Julian Assange too ill to appear in court via video link, lawyers say

Hearing is latest stage in possible extradition of WikiLeaks founder to US Ben Quinn The Guardian Julian Assange was too ill to appear by video link for the latest hearing in relation to his possible extradition to the US, lawyers for the WikiLeaks founder told a court. The hearing was the first since 2 May, when lawyers for the US government began pressing its case to extradite him to face trial for what they described as one the largest compromises of classified information ... Read More »

Assange’s new indictment: Espionage and the First Amendment

Julian Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, has been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with a slew of Espionage Act violations that could keep him in prison for… Ofer Raban The Conversation The new indictment expands an earlier one charging Assange with conspiring with Chelsea Manning, the former soldier convicted of leaking classified documents to… Assange is responsible for the dissemination of troves of classified American documents, including hundreds of thousands of military reports, hundreds of thousands of diplomatic ... Read More »

Trump move to declassify Russia intel draws sharp criticism

President Donald Trump is defending his unprecedented decision to give his Justice Department chief unfettered access to the country’s deepest foreign intelligence secrets amid an… WASHINGTON- Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The president said Attorney General Bill Barr needed unilateral power to declassify any top secret material to get to the roots of the 2016-2018 investigation into whether his election campaign colluded with… Barr “will be able to see how this hoax, how the hoax or witch hunt started, and why it started,” Trump said. ... Read More »

Sweden v USA – What Happens Next In Assange?

It was confirmed this week that the Swedish authorities have reopened the criminal investigation into Julian Assange over allegations of rape in 2010. Gherson The decision comes as Assange is serving a prison sentence in the UK for breaching bail in the original extradition proceedings. Assange is also facing extradition to the USA in connection with hacking allegations. After years of deadlock with Assange holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy there is finally significant movement and many people are asking ... Read More »

How 9/11 and China’s plan for blanket surveillance created a wave that CCTV camera makers Hikvision and Dahua rode to huge success

Hangzhou’s Binjiang district is home to three of China’s biggest surveillance camera makers Hikvision, Dahua and Uniview benefited from rise in demand for surveillance after 9/11 terror attacks China is famous for its one-industry towns. Gurao in southern Guangdong province is known for making bras. Qiaotou in Zhejiang province produces most of the world’s buttons. Sarah Dai South China Morning Post The city of Tianjin to the north is a major manufacturer of bicycles. Then there is Hangzhou’s Binjiang district, ... Read More »

Sweden to reopen rape case against WikiLeaks’ Assange

Swedish prosecutors said on May 13 they are reopening a rape case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a month after he was removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. STOCKHOLM-The Associated Press Hurriyet Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden‘s deputy director of public prosecutions, told a news conference in Stockholm that “there is still a probable cause to suspect that Assange committed a rape.” She added: “It is my assessment that a new questioning of Assange is required.” Swedish prosecutors filed preliminary charges – a step short of formal… ... Read More »

Turkey’s deal with Sudan on intelligence and military affairs in limbo

Cooperation between Turkey and Sudan in intelligence and military affairs, spearheaded by ousted Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir, was thrown into limbo when Islamist Turkish… Abdullah Bozkurt Nordic Monitor Having invested so much stock in al-Bashir, Erdoğan was frustrated to see that his credit may not be as good with the transitional government. Speaking at a ruling Justice and… He nonetheless vowed to continue supporting his brothers in Sudan. Erdoğan and his people point fingers at Egypt and Saudi Arabia in ... Read More »

The Western Allies Need More Eyes on the World

The “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance should expand, starting with Israel and Japan. James Stavridis Bloomberg Every challenge the U.S. faces today — the rise of China, a resurgent Russia, the North Korean nuclear weapons program, Iranian adventurism throughout the Middle East, cyberthreats and… And as any intelligence expert will tell you, an accurate picture is not a sweeping oil painting, it is a mosaic. You build up that picture one small stone at a time until you can step back ... Read More »

Why Assange and Ecuador Fell Out

Seven years ago, Julian Assange seemed at the height of his powers—a superstar information warrior behind the biggest leak in history—when he faced his first major legal blow. Dan Collyns NYR Daily He had lost a long fight against extradition to Sweden, where two women had accused him of rape. The possibilities for the rootless WikiLeaks founder, who was used to working from other people’s sofas and hotel rooms around the world, narrowed rapidly. Fearing that the Swedish investigation could ... Read More »