Archive for the ‘intelligence’ Category

c/o Russia Today @ 2:00

BTC – In this Homeland Security Today piece, Big Data states their case for evaluating pre-crime, threat levels, Suspicious Activity Reporting (SARs) and protective policy towards government officials after the Tuscon shootings.  [Probable cause is mentioned…once.]

“The Federal Court Security Improvement Act of 2007 specifically directed the US Attorney General to make grants available to each state. One of the main purposes of the Act is to provide funding for states to establish and maintain a threat assessment database that includes threats against institutions and officials at the state and local level. Even though this law is several years old, progress in creating these “databases” seems slow. At the same time, other information sharing initiatives – Fusion Centers and Real Time Crime Centers – that have sprung up since September 11, have been slow to acknowledge that this type of threat information is relevant to their mission.”  :::MORE HERE:::

About the Author

Director of law enforcement solutions on the Memex Solutions Team at SAS, Stephen Serrao is a former New Jersey State Police Counterterrorism Bureau Chief. SAS is the leading worldwide provider of intelligence management and data analytics solutions for law enforcement, military intelligence and commercial organizations. Steve can be reached at steve.serrao(at)sas.com.

c/o AP>> CLG

LOS ANGELES — Police are expanding a citizen terror watch program to include travelers at the Los Angeles International Airport.

The iWatch program was launched in October for residents to alert authorities to suspicious activity by phone or Internet. On Thursday, police and political leaders are using fliers and posters to enlist help from people at LAX.

iWatchers are asked to be on the lookout for possible terror activities such as people buying bomb-making supplies or unattended vehicles near loading zones around high-profile buildings.Tips are reviewed by anti-terror experts, then entered into a database designed to find patterns and trends.

The program was developed by LAPD and has been adopted by police departments across the country.

RELATED NEWS c/o Center for Investigative Reporting

Los Angeles instates iWatch program 
UK’s intelligence led policing
Militarization of US police forces 

BTC – This is a montage of the comprehensive battle for your private information and the use of integrated technologies to sift and evaluate your data.  Pretty chilling stuff.

Voice recognition, world wiretapping & data nexusses

Thanks to TransPartisan guy who sent this info c/o Threat Level @ Wired.com

The U.S. military monitored Planned Parenthood and a white supremacist group as part of the government’s security preparations for the 2002 Olympics in Utah, according to new documents released by the Department of Defense.

The U.S. Joint Forces Command liaison collected and disseminated information on U.S. citizens who were members of Planned Parenthood and the white supremacist group National Alliance regarding their involvement in protests and distributing literature, according to an intelligence-oversight report released by the Pentagon. The documents indicate that the JFC liaison was working with the FBI’s Olympic Intelligence Center at the time.

This and other intelligence-activity disclosures appear in heavily redacted documents that were released to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They came in response to an ongoing Freedom of Information Act project the organization is conducting to obtain oversight information from intelligence agencies.

EFF received more than 800 pages from intelligence oversight reports created by the Defense Department inspector general that examine actions, conducted by various branches of the department, that are believed to be illegal.

The reports cover the years 2001 to 2008 and were submitted to the Intelligence Oversight Board and cover the U.S. Army, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other military entities. The board is composed of private citizens with security clearances who are supposed to submit to the office of the president any reports describing activities that are believed to be illegal.

The reports provide little context for the information that’s disclosed, leaving the public to wonder about the nature and extent of the information and surveillance revealed in them.

Pertaining to the Planned Parenthood members, for example, the oversight report provides no explanation about how the information was collected. Nor does it indicate why the information was collected and notes only that military intelligence is not allowed to collect and disseminate information on U.S. persons unless the information constitutes “foreign intelligence.” The report indicates that the collection was therefore “clearly outside the purview of military intelligence” and should have been handled by law enforcement. ::MORE HERE::

c/o CLG>>CNet

WASHINGTON–The FBI is pressing Internet service providers to record which Web sites customers visit and retain those logs for two years, a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography and other serious crimes.
FBI Director Robert Mueller supports storing Internet users’ “origin and destination information,” a bureau attorney said at a federal task force meeting on Thursday.

BTC – As Americans we are prone to getting dizzy, lost, in what I have deemed “the toilet of distractions”. Today news crows are invested with the incests of D.C.’s culture of deceit and secrecy. Paying attention is almost not worth it if you watch TV or read conventional news.

It is important to have some education on the nature of the work in American intelligence agencies.

The two following films shed essential light on the real problems with some of the intelligence processes. They will help anyone understand surveillance, national security, secrecy and the way our Congress has become drafted or seduced into an “in” club.

The “closed door” briefings that the CIA and other intelligence agencies regularly commence with, force secrecy on our top officials. Some of whom may actually NEED to speak up on behalf of their constituencies or even possibly self preservation.

Whatever your opinion is of the nature of modern conspiracy; secrecy seems to be consistent with abuses of power.

Below are 2 films to examine what the US government has done on the auspices of “national security”.

[Great big thanks to friends Frank Dorrell and Kimberly Johnson]


What I’ve Learned About U.S. Foreign Policy

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-6171375275571061709&hl=en&fs=true

ALSO WATCH: Secrets of the CIA

Five courageous former CIA agents reveal deep secrets of the CIA (45 min)

http://personalgrowthcourses.net/video/secrets_cia

CIA Targeting BlogJourno? Yep.

America’s spy agencies want to read your blog posts, keep track of your Twitter updates — even check out your book reviews on Amazon.

In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media. It’s part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using ”open source intelligence” — information that’s publicly available, but often hidden in the flood of TV shows, newspaper articles, blog posts, online videos and radio reports generated every day.

Visible crawls over half a million web 2.0 sites a day, scraping more than a million posts and conversations taking place on blogs, online forums, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon. (It doesn’t touch closed social networks, like Facebook, at the moment.) Customers get customized, real-time feeds of what’s being said on these sites, based on a series of keywords.

“That’s kind of the basic step — get in and monitor,” says company senior vice president Blake Cahill.

Then Visible “scores” each post, labeling it as positive or negative, mixed or neutral. It examines how influential a conversation or an author is. (”Trying to determine who really matters,” as Cahill puts it.) Finally, Visible gives users a chance to tag posts, forward them to colleagues and allow them to response through a web interface.

In-Q-Tel says it wants Visible to keep track of foreign social media, and give spooks “early-warning detection on how issues are playing internationally,” spokesperson Donald Tighe tells Danger Room.

Of course, such a tool can also be pointed inward, at domestic bloggers or tweeters. Visible already keeps tabs on web 2.0 sites for Dell, AT&T and Verizon. For Microsoft, the company is monitoring the buzz on its Windows 7 rollout. For Spam-maker Hormel, Visible is tracking animal-right activists’ online campaigns against the company.

“Anything that is out in the open is fair game for collection,” says Steven Aftergood, who tracks intelligence issues at the Federation of American Scientists. But “even if information is openly gathered by intelligence agencies it would still be problematic if it were used for unauthorized domestic investigations or operations. Intelligence agencies or employees might be tempted to use the tools at their disposal to compile information on political figures, critics, journalists or others, and to exploit such information for political advantage. That is not permissible even if all of the information in question is technically ‘open source.’ :::MORE HERE:::
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan) told Rumsfeld during a public hearing in 2003 that the Total Information Awareness program “not only raises serious privacy concerns [but] might also be illegal and possibly unconstitutional.”

“Suspicionless Surveillance” was developed by the Pentagon’s controversial Total Information Awareness department, led by Adm. John Poindexter, the former national security adviser, who secretly sold weapons to Middle Eastern terrorists in the 1980s during the Iran-Contra affair and was convicted of a felony for lying to Congress and destroying evidence. The convictions were later overturned on appeal.

Report Critical of NSA Program

The unclassified report prepared by inspectors general of five federal agencies said George W. Bush justified his warrantless wiretapping by relying on Justice Department attorney John Yoo’s theories of unlimited presidential wartime powers, and started the spying operation even before Yoo issued a formal opinion, a government investigation discovered.

Essentially, President Bush took it upon himself to ignore the clear requirement of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that all domestic intelligence-related electronic spying must have a warrant from a secret federal court, not just presidential approval. Illegal wiretapping is a felony under federal law. ::MORE HERE::

WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Intelligence activities across the U.S. government and military cost a total of $75 billion a year, the nation’s top intelligence official said on Tuesday, disclosing an overall number long shrouded in secrecy.

Dennis Blair, the U.S. director of national intelligence, cited the figure as part of a four-year strategic blueprint for the sprawling, 200,000-person intelligence community.
In an unclassified version of the blueprint released by Blair’s office, intelligence agencies singled out as threats Iran’s nuclear program, North Korea’s “erratic behavior,” and insurgencies fueled by militant groups, though Blair cited gains against al Qaeda.

Blair also cited challenges from China’s military modernization and natural resource-driven diplomacy, as well as from efforts by Russia to reassert its power.

“I think for the first time we have a good understanding of the world that we’re in,” Blair said.
Officials said the $75 billion total figure cited by Blair incorporated spending by the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies, as well as the amounts spent by the Pentagon on military intelligence activities.

The United States has taken some steps in recent years to open the books on some of its secretive intelligence spending activities.

It has disclosed the amount spent by the 16 intelligence agencies — $47.5 billion in 2008 alone — but those figures did not incorporate the military’s intelligence activities, officials said.
Blair, in a conference call with reporters, explained that his four-year strategy was not set up on the “traditional fault line … between military intelligence and national intelligence.”

“This whole distinction between military and non-military intelligence is no longer relevant,” Blair said.

Spending for most intelligence programs is described in classified annexes to intelligence and national defense authorization and appropriations legislation. Members of Congress have access to these annexes but must make special arrangements to read them. (Editing by Eric Beech)