Archiv: (international) spy complex / secret police (state / non-state) / contractors


01.06.2020 - 19:07 [ Wikipedia ]

COINTELPRO: Program exposure

The program was secret until 1971, when the Citizens‘ Commission to Investigate the FBI burgled an FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania, took several dossiers, and exposed the program by passing this material to news agencies.[51] The boxing match known as the Fight of the Century between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in March 1971 provided cover for the activist group to successfully pull off the burglary; Muhammad Ali was himself a COINTELPRO target due to his involvement with the Nation of Islam and the anti-war movement.

01.06.2020 - 19:01 [ OriginalPeople.org ]

COINTELPRO: The FBI’s War on Black America

(15.11.2012)

COINTELPRO (an acronym for COunter INTELligence PROgram) was a series of covert, and at times illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveying, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations. National Security Agency operation Project MINARET targeted the personal communications of leading Americans, including Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker, civil rights leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, journalists and athletes who criticized the Vietnam War.
The FBI has used covert operations against domestic political groups since its inception; however, covert operations under the official COINTELPRO label took place between 1956 and 1971. COINTELPRO tactics are still used to this day, and have been alleged to include discrediting targets through psychological warfare; smearing individuals and groups using forged documents and by planting false reports in the media; harassment; wrongful imprisonment; and illegal violence, including assassination. The FBI’s stated motivation was “protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order.”

01.06.2020 - 18:47 [ bringmethenews.com ]

National Guard says troops will be armed in Twin Cities after threat

The head of the MN National Guard, Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen, confirmed the move to CBS News after it was warned of a „specific threat against the guard“ by the FBI.

31.05.2020 - 13:00 [ theNation.com ]

Exclusive: The US Military Is Monitoring Protests in 7 States

(30.05.2020)

The US military is monitoring protests in at least seven states, according to Defense Department documents obtained exclusively by The Nation.

In addition to Minnesota, where a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, the military is tracking uprisings in New York, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, and Kentucky, according to a Defense Department situation report. Notably, only Minnesota has requested National Guard support.

30.05.2020 - 20:22 [ Washington Post ]

Trump, Pentagon offer active-duty military forces and intelligence to help quell Minnesota unrest

Gov. Tim Walz (D.) acknowledged the offer as he announced that he was mobilizing the entire Minnesota National Guard. He did so after several nights of rioting in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody this week in Minneapolis while handcuffed and on video.

Walz downplayed the significance of the Pentagon’s offer to send U.S. armed forces, saying that “this has happened before” where groups from the 82nd Airborne Division and other parts of the Army are put “on readiness.”

“They’re not talking about mobilizing the entire United States Army,” Walz said. “We’re probably talking about in the neighborhood of several hundred” soldiers.

28.05.2020 - 22:33 [ Evan Greer / Twitter ]

Here’s what’s happening: late last night @SpeakerPelosi attempted to ram through a reauthorization of #FISA and #PatriotAct surveillance authorities. But she had to cancel the vote at the last minute when it became clear she didn’t have even close to enough votes to pass it.

She’s trying to blame that on Trump tweeting about it, but the reality is that the vote was going to fail anyway because the entire Congressional Progressive Caucus (nearly 100 member of the House) came out against the bill after Pelosi let @RepAdamSchiff
gut a privacy amendment

Now @SpeakerPelosi
is trying to do an end-run around her own party and is going to attempt to sneak the reauthorization through by using an obscure congressional mechanism to reconcile a previous version of the bill the House passed with the version the Senate passed.

28.05.2020 - 22:29 [ Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America / Twitter ]

Thank you to our GREAT Republican Congressmen & Congresswomen on your incredibly important blockage last night of a FISA Bill that would just perpetuate the abuse that produced the Greatest Political Crime In the History of the U.S., the Russian Witch-Hunt. Fantastic Job!

28.05.2020 - 22:26 [ ]

The House just ditched a bill that would renew and expand the FBI’s surveillance powers after Trump threatened to veto it

The House of Representatives abandoned a plan to pass a reauthorization of the Patriot Act Thursday after President Donald Trump tweeted that he would veto the bill if it passes.

28.05.2020 - 22:18 [ CommonDreams.org ]

‚Just Let the Patriot Act Die You Cowards‘: House Lawmakers Urged to Vote Down Flawed Domestic Spy Bill

(27.05.2020)

As Common Dreams reported earlier, House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff was a target of specific ire for his role in sabotaging the amendment which sought to strengthen the bill’s privacy protections and judicial oversight. As Gizmodo’s Dell Cameron remarked after the day’s developments, „Although it’s really been something of a mass delusion for a while, the idea that Democrats are somehow better than Republicans on the Fourth Amendment is, as of this week, nothing short of a joke.“

The fact that the GOP-controlled Senate has managed to pass more progressive privacy reforms than the Democratic majority in the House, which has introduced precisely none, should not go unnoticed,“ Cameron added.

27.05.2020 - 21:07 [ CNN ]

Trump tweet throws House vote on government surveillance powers into doubt

The request to shelve the vote was the latest hurdle for legislation reauthorizing authorities from the 2001 Patriot Act that’s been squeezed both by FISA opponents who have pushed for more civil liberties protections and by the President and his allies furious over the role of the FISA court in the Russia investigation and the misconduct with warrants obtained on former Trump adviser Carter Page.

„I hope all Republican House Members vote NO on FISA until such time as our Country is able to determine how and why the greatest political, criminal, and subversive scandal in USA history took place!“ Trump tweeted on Tuesday evening.

27.05.2020 - 20:46 [ Journal-News.net ]

Handling of Flynn case should concern all Americans

Regardless of our political leanings, what happened to Michael Flynn should concern every American. While we should insist on details about his case, a more important question needs to be answered:

How many other people have been treated similarly by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies?

27.05.2020 - 20:41 [ theGreggJarrett.com ]

Former CBS Reporter One Of The First ‘To Identify Myself As A Target of Illegal Spying Under Obama Admin’

“I believe many, many others were spied on but do not know” said Attkisson. “It was only thanks to help from intelligence contacts that I even learned that government agents were spying me. Otherwise, I never suspected it or would have known.”

27.05.2020 - 20:27 [ Warren Davidson, U.S. Congressman serving Ohio's 8th District. Constitutionalist and former Army Ranger / Twitter ]

Intel & war hawks fight to keep mass surveillance of American citizens in place, and keep America in more wars in more places. Now they want to stop reforms from becoming law so they can preserve the broken status quo. We need @realDonaldTrump to support these reforms & more.

27.05.2020 - 20:01 [ CBS News ]

House to vote on reauthorizing expired surveillance powers

The House is expected to vote on a bill reauthorizing expired national security surveillance authorities on Wednesday afternoon in a vote by proxy, a controversial rule change which allows members to vote on behalf of their absent colleagues. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pull the bill reauthorizing authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, arguing that voting by proxy is unconstitutional.

26.05.2020 - 15:23 [ the Hill ]

This week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House’s proxy voting

The bill initially passed the House in a 278-136 vote in March. But the Senate amended the measure to add more legal protections for certain individuals targeted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The changes forces it to be bounced back to the House, which will need to pass it a second time.

Under a deal struck with leadership, the House is expected to consider an amendment, brought by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), that would block law enforcement from being able to access web browsing data without a warrant.

25.05.2020 - 21:33 [ Fox News ]

Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann to headline Biden virtual fundraiser

Throughout the Russia investigation, Weissmann had been considered a “deputy” to Mueller, with conservatives regularly targeting him for his reputation of using aggressive tactics in cases, as well as his role in past controversial prosecutions. Weissmann helped to build the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

25.05.2020 - 15:34 [ Malta Today ]

Suspected mercenaries were released from arrest after two days

A group of 20 men evacuated from Benghazi, Libya and suspected of having been contracted to lend support to General Khalifa Haftar’s forces, were held under arrest in Malta for two days before being released without charge. 

Multiple law enforcement sources speaking to this newspaper say the police are still investigating the incident, almost a year on since the arrival of the men on two RHIBs (rigid-hull inflatable boats) at the Valletta seaport in June 2019. 

25.05.2020 - 15:29 [ New York Times ]

By Air and Sea, Mercenaries Landed in Libya. But the Plan Went South.

The abortive mercenary expedition last summer was organized and financed by a network of secretive companies in the United Arab Emirates, according to a confidential report submitted to the United Nations Security Council in February. The companies are controlled or part-owned by Christiaan Durrant, an Australian businessman and former fighter pilot who is a close associate of Erik Prince, America’s most famous mercenary entrepreneur.

25.05.2020 - 15:12 [ Bloomberg ]

Western Team Went to Help Moscow’s Man in Libya, UN Finds

Opus and Lancaster 6 financed and directed an operation to provide Haftar’s forces with helicopters, drones and cyber capabilities through a complex web of shell companies, according to two diplomats who briefed Bloomberg on the contents of the UN Panel of Experts report shared with the Security Council’s sanctions committee in February. The diplomats also shared excerpts of the report with Bloomberg.

22.05.2020 - 18:25 [ Haaretz ]

Operation ‚Addictive Candy‘: How Israel Silenced a Spy Privy to One of Its Darkest Intelligence Debacles

How do you convince someone to become an agent or informant?

“You can offer humanitarian and family aid; you can compensate him. Everything is possible. We live in the State of Israel, but next to the State of Israel is another state: the State of Intelligence. The State of Israel is nothing compared to the State of Intelligence. Their people can enter any place and do whatever they want.”

19.05.2020 - 20:31 [ American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ]

Coalition Letter to House Leadership Concerning Wyden-Daines Amendment to USA Freedom Reauthorization Act

Indeed, this would help address serious concerns among the public that civil liberties are at a heightened riskduring this time of crisis. This is an acute concern for the many groups that the FBI has wrongfully targeted in thepast, including activists, communities of color, and the press.With ample support for this measure secured in the Senate, the decision to seize this moment in defense ofAmericans’ civil liberties is exclusively in your hands.

19.05.2020 - 20:17 [ National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) ]

NCAC Urges Speaker Pelosi to Support Critical Change to Patriot Act

NCAC has joined a coalition of more than 50 civil liberties, civil rights and government transparency organizations in urging Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress to include civil liberties reforms in the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020, a bill that would extend surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act which expired in March.

The coalition’s letter to Speaker Pelosi calls for support of the Wyden-Daines amendment to the bill, which prohibits the government from surveilling the internet search and browsing history of people in the United States without a warrant. The Patriot Act was never intended to allow the FBI to warrantlessly spy on our search and browsing history – and that is squarely the question before Speaker Pelosi.

This reform is designed to stave off the kind of scandals that led to a dramatic loss of trust in United States intelligence agencies over the past two decades.

19.05.2020 - 19:16 [ Medium.com ]

Open Letter, May 18, 2020, London: Dear Matt Hancock, we are civil society organisations, privacy advocates and academic researchers writing to express concerns about the NHS’s plans to build a COVID-19 datastore.

We share the common goal of preserving public confidence in systems that can help make us all safer. Therefore, before the NHS continues its plans, we urge you to provide the public with more information and take appropriate measures to reduce risk of data sharing and keep the aggregated data under democratic control.

In March, the NHS announced a new plan to build a datastore that aggregates COVID-19 health data. Microsoft, Google, Palantir, Faculty and Amazon will assist in the development of the datastore and the processing of the data.

19.05.2020 - 19:10 [ Computerweekly.com ]

Privacy advocates demand clarity over Covid-19 datastore

(yesterday)

In an open letter directly addressed to the health secretary, civil society organisations, privacy advocates and academic researchers urged Hancock to give the public more information about the datastore and take appropriate measures to reduce data-sharing risks and keep it under democratic control.

19.05.2020 - 18:45 [ OpenDemocracy.net ]

DemocracyWatch: COVID-19 ushers in a new era of surveillance apps

Last week, Palantir got the US government contract to run a new system for tracking the spread of COVID-19.

It’s not just the US that is boosting surveillance in the pandemic. In tiny Liechtenstein, the government has launched biometric tracker bracelets that automatically collect key medical information. The statelet plans for all citizens to wear them by autumn, while Germany, Turkey and France are also among the 23 countries that have looked at high-tech surveillance measures in response to the crisis.

19.05.2020 - 18:39 [ theVerge.com ]

Peter Thiel’s controversial Palantir is helping build a coronavirus tracking tool for the Trump admin

(21.04.2020)

It is unclear what exactly this data is, where it comes from, or how it’s being used. It’s also unclear if Palantir is the sole technology provider of the tool, or if other partners are involved.

Reports earlier this month first surfaced Palantir’s involvement with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the UK’s National Health Service regarding coronavirus tracking software and other assistance in combating the global pandemic.

19.05.2020 - 18:15 [ Forbes ]

Facebook: Here’s Proof Israeli WhatsApp Hackers Ran Cyberweapons In America

(24.04.2020)

The tech giant’s counsel filed a response to NSO’s move for dismissal that included two IP addresses and a handful of websites it claims were used by NSO Group to attack WhatsApp users in spring 2019. One was hosted by Amazon Web Services in the U.S., the others by Californian company QuadraNet and a German provider.

19.05.2020 - 18:12 [ theGuardian.com ]

WhatsApp: Israeli firm ‚deeply involved‘ in hacking our users

(29.04.2020)

According to WhatsApp’s filing, NSO gained “unauthorised access” to its servers by reverse-engineering the messaging app and then evading the company’s security features that prevent manipulation of the company’s call features. One WhatsApp engineer who investigated the hacks said in a sworn statement submitted to the court that in 720 instances, the IP address of a remote server was included in the malicious code used in the attacks. The remote server, the engineer said, was based in Los Angeles and owned by a company whose data centre was used by NSO.

19.05.2020 - 18:10 [ i24News.tv ]

Report: Suspected Israeli cyberattack wreaks havoc at Iranian port

US officials believe that Israel was behind a „highly accurate“ recent cyberattack targeting Iran’s largest cargo port, the Washington Post reported Monday, adding that the attack caused way more damage than Tehran acknowledged.

On May 9, Iran’s Shahid Rajaee port supposedly came under a sustained cyberattack.

18.05.2020 - 19:31 [ PrivateInternetAccess.com ]

Tell your House Representative to vote against letting the FBI access internet history without a warrant

The Patriot Act is up for renewal with the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act and this bill as-is allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to access your internet history without a warrant. Under this new law, all the DOJ has to do is claim that an American citizen is tangentially related to an ongoing investigation and they’d be able to access your internet history that is stored with your internet service provider (ISP) – this gross privacy violating power must be stopped. The bill is currently in the House of Representatives and could be voted on as soon as next week.

18.05.2020 - 19:26 [ Vox.com ]

The Senate voted to let the government keep surveilling your online life without a warrant

(14.05.2020)

Many senators wanted to forbid the government from secretly collecting information about your internet habits, but an amendment failed by just one vote.

17.05.2020 - 17:15 [ USA Today ]

’50 states and 50 different approaches:‘ States scramble to hire COVID-19 contact tracers

Massachusetts has added more than 1,000 workers and sent some into communities with large numbers of cases. California last week began training the first recruits of a planned 20,000-person contact tracing team. And New York plans to add as many as 17,000 contact tracers through a partnership with former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Resolve to Save Lives, headed by former CDC Director Tom Frieden.

17.05.2020 - 17:00 [ S.C. / Twitter ]

UK – We now have an army of snitches – Michael Gove reveals 17,000 coronavirus contact tracers recruited …

17.05.2020 - 16:42 [ PoliticsHome.com ]

Michael Gove heaps praise on under-fire Matt Hancock and reveals 17,000 coronavirus contact tracers now recruited

A senior government source told the Mail on Sunday last week that Mr Hancock was on “borrowed time” and had “fallen out with the most powerful figures in the Government”, including Mr Johnson.

But Mr Gove, who revealed that “just over 17,000 of the contact tracers” had now been recruited – told Sky News’ Niall Paterson: “Here I have to praise the work of the Health Secretary Matt Hancock.”

16.05.2020 - 09:23 [ JustTheNews.com ]

Making of a myth: Timeline of media’s role in selling ‚Trump-Russia collusion‘ tale

Nov. 18, 2016:

Trump announces Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his choice for National Security Adviser. Over the next few weeks, Flynn communicates with numerous international leaders.

Nov. 30 – Dec. 28, 2016:

Two dozen Obama administration officials make requests to unmask the name of National Security Adviser designee Flynn, who was „incidentally“ captured by intel surveillance. The officials include: U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and CIA Director John Brennan.

Jan. 5, 2017:

Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough requests Flynn unmasking.

Intelligence Community leadership, including FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, CIA Director Brennan and Director of National Intelligence Clapper, provides classified briefing to President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and National Security Adviser Susan Rice on alleged Russia hacking during 2016 campaign, according to notes later written by Rice.

After briefing, according to Rice’s notes, President Obama convenes Oval Office meeting with her, Comey, Biden, and Yates. The „Steele dossier“ is reportedly discussed. Also reportedly discussed: Flynn’s intercepted talks with Russia’s ambassador.

16.05.2020 - 08:37 [ The Hill / Youtube ]

Saagar Enjeti: BOMBSHELL reveals Biden at center of Obamagate, media ignores

Saagar blasts Joe Biden for being among the Obama administration officials who „unmasked“ former national security adviser Michael Flynn, despite his wavering stance on involvement in the prosecution.

15.05.2020 - 16:00 [ The Hill / Twitter ]

Sen. @RandPaul : „The PATRIOT Act in the end is not patriotic.“

15.05.2020 - 15:53 [ Vox.com ]

The Senate voted to let the government keep surveilling your online life without a warrant

The measure needed 60 votes to pass. It got 59.

The outcome is especially frustrating since four senators didn’t vote on the amendment at all, and at least one would have voted yes. Lamar Alexander couldn’t vote because he’s quarantined. Two others — Ben Sasse and Bernie Sanders — didn’t respond to request for comment on where they were during the vote. An aide told Politico that Patty Murray would have voted yes had she been there, but the senator was not in Washington, DC, when the vote occurred.

15.05.2020 - 15:32 [ Fox News ]

Rand Paul on Flynn unmasking: Biden committed ‚devastating abuse of power‘

‚It amounts to illegally eavesdropping for political purposes‘ says Rand Paul discussing new information that Obama officials unmasked Michael Flynn

15.05.2020 - 12:37 [ NBC News ]

Burr turns over phone, Feinstein questioned by FBI in possible insider trading probe

The furor began after ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization, reported that Burr unloaded the stock around mid-February, about a week before the market started to plunge because of coronavirus concerns.

14.05.2020 - 23:17 [ Real Clear Politics ]

Rand Paul: „Vice President Biden Is Guilty Of Using Government To Go After A Political Opponent“

Sen. Rand Paul called for acting Director of National Intelligence Rick Grenell to testify about a list of Obama administration officials, including Obama and Biden, involved in the „unmasking“ of then-incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s communications after the 2016 election.

Speaking to members of the press, Paul also said he wanted testimony from the officials on the list, including James Comey and James Clapper.

14.05.2020 - 23:00 [ AJC.com ]

‘He knew everything’: Trump demands that Obama testify in Flynn case

“Here is the concern: If you don’t have a national security reason, you’re basically spying on a political opponent,” the South Carolina Republican said on the news show.

“What is the national security reason to unmask Gen. Flynn in transition? I can’t think of one. But, I do believe, given their behavior, they’re looking to get rid of Flynn and if they used our intelligence apparatus to basically act on a political vendetta, that’s chilling to every American and would be very wrong.”

14.05.2020 - 22:56 [ Wall Street Journal ]

More Than a Dozen Obama Officials Requested ‘Unmasking’ That Identified Michael Flynn in Intelligence Reports

The list includes then-Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan; the requests came after Russian interference in U.S. election.

14.05.2020 - 22:48 [ Fox News ]

Unmasking’ requests number in thousands across administrations, as pols demand details

The numbers reflect how frequently national security and intelligence officials use this tool in their work. Unmasking occurs after U.S. citizens‘ conversations are incidentally picked up in conversations with foreign officials who are being monitored by the intelligence community. The U.S. citizens‘ identities are supposed to be protected if their participation is incidental and no wrongdoing is suspected. However, officials can determine the U.S. citizens‘ names through a process that is supposed to safeguard their rights. In the typical process, when officials are requesting the unmasking of an American, they do not necessarily know the identity of the person in advance.

14.05.2020 - 22:44 [ the Hill ]

Burr decision sends shock waves through Senate

Burr’s decision, which will go into effect on Friday, comes at a crucial moment for the committee. It’s expected to vote next week on Rep. John Ratcliffe’s nomination to be the next director of national intelligence and the committee is expected to release its final report on Russian interference in the 2016 election by the August recess.

13.05.2020 - 09:39 [ The Hill / Youtube ]

Saagar Enjeti: Obamagate is real and the media can’t just ignore it

Saagar Enjeti blasts former President Obama after it was revealed in transcripts he was the person who told then-deputy attorney general Sally Yates about Mike Flynn’s intercepted phone call with the Russian ambassador, Joe Biden responds to Flynn claims on Good Morning America.

13.05.2020 - 09:27 [ Fox News ]

Grenell declassifies names of Obama officials who ‘unmasked’ Flynn

Another source familiar with the intelligence told Fox News that Grenell is moving to declassify several pieces of intelligence in stages, with this being one part of it. Asked if former President Barack Obama’s name is on the list of officials involving in unmasking Flynn, the source would not say but stressed the list would make waves.

13.05.2020 - 09:22 [ Wall Street Journal ]

Intelligence Chief Declassifies Names of Obama Officials Who ‘Unmasked’ Flynn

President Trump’s top intelligence adviser has declassified and may release the names of Obama administration officials who requested the “unmasking” of former Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn, an action that identified him from intelligence reports following Mr. Trump’s election in 2016, a senior government official said.

Release of the list, which would be an unprecedented move, is likely to resurrect a partisan debate over an episode that had roiled the early days of Mr. Trump’s presidency …

13.05.2020 - 09:22 [ FoxWilmington.com ]

Rand Paul, citing Flynn case, proposes FISA amendment to curb surveillance of Americans

Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday introduced an amendment to the House-passed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to protect Americans’ privacy, citing the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn as an example of “abuse” and saying it “should never be allowed to happen again.”

Paul, R-Ky., who is an outspoken advocate for privacy reforms, proposed an amendment to the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020 – which passed the House on a bipartisan basis earlier this year – to protect Americans’ privacy, ensure due process and “reassert the Fourth Amendment.”

11.05.2020 - 12:56 [ TaiwanNews.com.tw ]

China asked WHO to cover up coronavirus outbreak: German intelligence service

Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) asked World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to suppress news about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the German intelligence agency BND found, according to a report by German magazine Der Spiegel.

During a conversation on Jan. 21, Xi reportedly asked Tedros not to announce that the virus could be transmitted between humans and to delay any declaration of a coronavirus pandemic.

11.05.2020 - 03:00 [ Stars and Stripes ]

Taliban say they don’t have missing Navy veteran

Earlier this week, the FBI took the unusual step of putting out a poster with Frerichs‘ picture on it seeking information into his disappearance and whereabouts, something they have not done in previous incidents where the Taliban have taken hostages.

10.05.2020 - 16:53 [ the Hill ]

Senate revives surveillance brawl

The Senate is set to revive a fight over a shadowy surveillance court, bringing to a head a months-long stalemate that resulted in the lapse of three intelligence programs.

The looming debate, which will pit some of President Trump’s biggest allies against one another, comes on the heels of growing questions about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court after the Justice Department inspector general found widespread errors as part of an interim report on warrant applications.

10.05.2020 - 16:23 [ the Hill ]

States build contact tracing armies to crush coronavirus

State governments are building armies of contact tracers in a new phase of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic, returning to a fundamental practice in public health that can at once wrestle the virus under control and put hundreds of thousands of newly jobless people back to work.

California is already conducting contact tracing in 22 counties, and it eventually plans to field a force of 10,000 state employees, who will be given basic training by University of California health experts.

10.05.2020 - 04:59 [ the Hill ]

McConnell urges Senate to reject changes to House-passed surveillance bill

(07.05.2020)

Under a deal struck by Senate leadership, senators will vote on three amendments: One from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) preventing FISA warrants from being used against Americans, one from Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on appointing outside advisers, and one from Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to prevent law enforcement from obtaining internet browsing and search history without a warrant.

10.05.2020 - 04:51 [ Reason.com ]

FISA Surveillance and Possible Reforms Are Back on the Senate’s Agenda

(07.05.2020)

Next week the Senate is poised to resurrect some federal surveillance powers that expired in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. A handful of senators are hoping to force through reforms to better protect Americans‘ privacy.

10.05.2020 - 04:09 [ the Hill ]

FBI director in ‚hot seat‘ as GOP demands reforms

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Judiciary Committee with oversight of the FBI, noted that “we’ve got a problem at the FBI.”

“Clearly, we had some people, and maybe still have some people, that don’t understand the rule of law, and nothing’s been done,“ Kennedy said.

10.05.2020 - 03:54 [ New York Times ]

Obama Warns That Dropped Charges Against Flynn Put ‘Rule of Law’ at Risk

“There is no precedent that anybody can find for somebody who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free,” Mr. Obama said on a call with thousands of supporters who worked in his administration or campaigns.

10.05.2020 - 03:51 [ NBC News ]

Defense lawyers rail about unfair prosecutions. Flynn’s case shows why.

Sometimes federal agents are criticized for „creating“ a crime instead of investigating one. Sting operations are examples of crimes that are a consequence of law enforcement actions. Agents create a fictional crime to trick a suspect into attempting to join that crime, thereby creating the crime.

Similarly, Flynn’s crime of lying to government agents was the consequence of the government agents‘ investigation of Flynn. If there was no crime before Flynn’s interview, then there’s little reason to interview Flynn as part of a criminal investigation, unless the agents were looking to create a crime.

06.05.2020 - 21:18 [ the Hill ]

Did the FBI target Michael Flynn to protect Obama’s policies, not national security?

How would you like to be investigated by the FBI because you disagreed with the president’s policies? Sounds a little KGB-ish, you might think — and you’d be right, because the FBI has zero authority to conduct such an investigation. But the more we learn about the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, the more it appears he was targeted precisely because, as the national security adviser to the incoming Trump administration, he signaled that the new administration might undo Obama administration policies — which is kind of what the American people voted for in 2016.

05.05.2020 - 20:57 [ Sydney Morning Herald ]

Australian intelligence knocks back US government’s Wuhan lab virus claim

Senior members of the Australian intelligence community told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age a research document shared in political circles under the Five Eyes intelligence arrangement was mostly based on news reports and contained no material from intelligence gathering.

05.05.2020 - 20:38 [ BBC ]

Coronavirus: US allies tread lightly around Trump lab claims

(today)

UK officials believe it is not possible to be absolutely sure about the origins but point to scientific opinion suggesting the most likely scenario is …

05.05.2020 - 20:30 [ theGuardian.com ]

Five Eyes network contradicts theory Covid-19 leaked from lab

(04.05.2020)

There is no current evidence to suggest that coronavirus leaked from a Chinese research laboratory, intelligence sources have told the Guardian, contradicting recent White House claims that there is growing proof this is how the pandemic began.

The sources also insisted that a “15-page dossier” highlighted by the Australian Daily Telegraph which accused China of a deadly cover up was not culled from intelligence from the Five Eyes network, an alliance between the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

05.05.2020 - 20:17 [ ABC News ]

This Week‘ Transcript 5-3-20: Mike Pompeo, Gov. Mike DeWine, Ronna McDaniel, Tom Perez

(03.05.2020)

RADDATZ: Do you believe it was manmade or genetically modified?

POMPEO: Look, the best experts so far seem to think it was manmade. I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point.

RADDATZ: Your — your Office of the DNI says the consensus, the scientific consensus was not manmade or genetically modified.

POMPEO: That’s right. I — I — I agree with that. Yes. I’ve — I’ve seen their analysis. I’ve seen the summary that you saw that was released publicly. I have no reason to doubt that that is accurate at this point.

05.05.2020 - 20:15 [ @renmin_wansui / Twitter ]

5 RADDATZ: OK, so just to be clear, you do not think it was manmade or genetically modified? POMPEO: I’ve seen what the intelligence community has said. I have no reason to believe that they’ve got it wrong.

05.05.2020 - 20:11 [ New York Times ]

Pompeo Ties Coronavirus to China Lab, Despite Spy Agencies’ Uncertainty

Speaking on the ABC program “This Week,” Mr. Pompeo, the former C.I.A. chief and one of the senior administration officials who is most hawkish on dealing with China, said that “there’s enormous evidence” that the coronavirus came from the lab, though he agreed with the intelligence assessment that there was no indication that the virus was man-made or genetically modified.

05.05.2020 - 14:03 [ Haaretz ]

Israel’s Gatekeepers Have Become Enablers of a Dangerous Coronavirus Policy

The moment Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his plan to use “technological methods from the war on terror” to track coronavirus patients, it was clear that it would be impossible to take this candy away from the government’s eager hands. The term “dangerous precedent” was coined for just such situations, in which a tool created for extreme situations slowly makes its way into daily life.

02.05.2020 - 17:18 [ Alan Dershowitz / the Hill ]

Michael Flynn case places both FBI integrity and civil liberty on the line

More than a year ago I wrote a series of columns that made the point that former national security adviser Michael Flynn had been set up by the FBI and may have committed no crime. I repeated my legal arguments in several interviews. This led the professional Trump-bashers — who care more about “getting” Trump than about protecting civil liberties — to attack me for “inventing” legal principles that help the Trump team.

Well, it now turns out that I was right all along.

01.05.2020 - 22:14 [ the Hill ]

Senate panel sets confirmation hearing for Trump’s intel chief pick for Tuesday

But Republicans hold just a one-seat majority on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

01.05.2020 - 16:36 [ Office of the Director of National Intelligence ]

Intelligence Community Statement on Origins of COVID-19

“The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to U.S. policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China. The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.

“As we do in all crises, the Community’s experts respond by surging resources and producing critical intelligence on issues vital to U.S. national security. The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”

01.05.2020 - 16:33 [ Wall Street Journal ]

In Rare Move, U.S. Intelligence Agencies Confirm Investigating if Coronavirus Emerged From Lab Accident

In an unusual public statement, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, or ODNI, also said that U.S. intelligence agencies concur with the broad scientific consensus that “the Covid-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.”

01.05.2020 - 16:32 [ Washington Post ]

Chinese lab conducted extensive research on deadly bat viruses, but there is no evidence of accidental release

“It’s far more likely that Mother Nature is just a step ahead of us and has created a novel pathogen, now able to move quite effectively from human to human,” said Jason Rao, a biosecurity specialist, former senior policy adviser to President Barack Obama and executive director of Health Security Partners, a D.C.-based nonprofit organization focused on global biological threat reduction.

01.05.2020 - 16:11 [ the Hill ]

Trump says he would consider bringing Flynn back into administration

The documents released Wednesday show FBI agents discussing how to handle a January 2017 interview with Flynn, who was still working as Trump’s national security adviser at the time.

„What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?“ an unnamed FBI agent wrote in a handwritten note included among the documents. „If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide. Or, if he initially lies, then we present him [redacted] & he admits it, document for DOJ, & let them decide how to address it.“

01.05.2020 - 15:58 [ National Review ]

Explosive Revelations in the Flynn Case

(27.04.2020)

As I’ve noted several times over the years, it has long been speculated that Flynn — though he did not believe he was guilty (and though the agents who interviewed him also did not believe he had intentionally misled them) — nevertheless pled guilty to false-statements charges because prosecutors from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s staff threatened him. Specifically, Flynn is said to have been warned that, if he refused to plead guilty, prosecutors would charge his son with a felony for failing to register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent. Such a so-called FARA violation (Foreign Agent Registration Act) is a crime that the DOJ almost never charged before the Mueller investigation, and it had dubious application to Flynn’s son (who worked for Flynn’s private-intelligence firm).

01.05.2020 - 15:56 [ MSNBC ]

‚Get him to lie‘: MSNBC’s Ari Melber breaks down new Russia probe Flynn docs

New developments in a key case from the Mueller probe. Former national security advisor Michael Flynn had pled guilty to lying to the feds in a cooperation deal. For the first time, we are seeing how they approached him. MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber analyzes all the documents, giving you a fascinating look inside the probe.

30.04.2020 - 17:27 [ ScientificAmerican.com ]

Will Americans Be Willing to Install COVID-19 Tracking Apps?

Citing an infringement of constitutional rights and freedoms, leaders in the United States have so far been hesitant to adopt such technological approaches, but that may be about to change.

30.04.2020 - 17:20 [ Haaretz ]

Israelis Visiting Malls, Markets Will Have to Download Mandatory Coronavirus Tracking App

(29.04.2020)

Shopping malls and markets across Israel, shut due to the coronavirus outbreak, will only be allowed to reopen after the development of a tracking system that would monitor all visitors, Health Ministry Director General Moshe Bar Siman Tov said at a Monday meeting.

All customers will be required to install a tracking app on their phone to enter shopping malls and markets, once these reopen.

30.04.2020 - 17:17 [ Indianexpress.com ]

1.5 million Israelis using voluntary coronavirus monitoring app

(01.04.2020)

Around 1.5 million Israelis have downloaded a mobile app in the past week that alerts users who have crossed paths with a coronavirus patient, according to the Health Ministry, helping to improve tracking of the pandemic.T he app “HaMagen” – Hebrew for The Shield – is sparking interest from abroad with approaches from Germany, Italy, Britain, Australia and Chile so far, ministry deputy director general Morris Dorfman said Wednesday.

30.04.2020 - 17:13 [ Time ]

Italy Says App Tracing Contacts of People Infected With COVID-19 Will Be Anonymous

Premier Giuseppe Conte’s Cabinet, at a meeting that ended early Thursday, approved a law, in the form of the decree, that guarantees that those who decide not to use the app won’t suffer limits on their movement or other rights.

30.04.2020 - 15:56 [ the Hill ]

Americans begin to move amid growing frustrations with social distancing

Americans who have endured a month or more of state-ordered lockdowns related to the spread of the coronavirus in recent days have been venturing out of their homes more as they grow frustrated after spending so much time away from their normal lives.

Cellphone data collected by the University of Maryland’s Maryland Transportation Institute shows the percentage of people staying at home in most states peaked around April 14, the Tuesday after Easter.

29.04.2020 - 13:25 [ Haaretz ]

Facebook Alleges Israeli Spyware Firm NSO Ran Attack Servers on U.S. Soil

(26.04.2020)

NSO also claimed that it and Q Cyber are entitled to immunity because they operate in the service of foreign countries. Facebook claims that the Israeli companies are not entitled to such immunity under U.S. law.

27.04.2020 - 11:23 [ Haaretz ]

Israeli Government Is Invading Our Privacy Under the Guise of Battling Coronavirus

Two weeks ago, the council had already discussed the possibility of a popular revolt and how the government could prevent an uprising against the authorities. Among other things, it considered how the state “could forestall dangers that could lead to widespread social unrest” that might spark protests against the government and state institutions.

It turns out that soldiers and officers from one of Military Intelligence’s classified intelligence gathering units gathered data and analyzed it for the task force that the National Security Council appointed for this purpose.

24.04.2020 - 00:35 [ BBC ]

Coronavirus: Israel halts police phone tracking over privacy concerns

But now an oversight group in Israel’s parliament blocked an attempt to extend the emergency measures past this week. A committee member said the harm done to privacy outweighed the benefits.

22.04.2020 - 18:05 [ Daily Beast ]

Team Trump Turns to Peter Thiel’s Palantir to Track Virus

Palantir, the data-mining firm created by investor Peter Thiel, is best known for its work with global intelligence, military, and law enforcement agencies. Now, the company has a contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help the federal government create a new data platform called HHS Protect Now.

The Daily Beast has confirmed that Palantir will provide a major aspect of the analytics platform.

17.04.2020 - 11:30 [ Haaretz ]

Israel Is Heading for a Shin Bet Police State

The pattern is familiar and dangerous: Start with ostensibly minimal means for a limited time, then expand the means and duration until they become permanent. Now it’s the fight against the coronavirus, tomorrow it will be the fight against crime – and finally the fight against the government’s opponents. History is paved with examples of emergency measures becoming routine.

16.04.2020 - 15:21 [ WinnipegSun.com ]

Trump says U.S. investigating whether COVID-19 came from Wuhan lab

The source of the virus remains a mystery. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Tuesday that U.S. intelligence indicates that the coronavirus likely occurred naturally, as opposed to being created in a laboratory in China, but there is no certainty either way.

16.04.2020 - 14:18 [ Haaretz ]

With No Checks on Power, Israel Also Wants Shin Bet to Map Coronavirus Hot Spots

Haaretz has learned that this deep, dark secret amounts to the addition of another layer of analysis to the information that’s already being collected about us, with the aim of mapping areas where restrictions could, or could not, be lifted. That accompanies the army’s proposal to divide the country into color-coded zones based on the incidence of COVID-19 in each.

13.04.2020 - 18:42 [ theHill.com ]

Navarro knocks ’60 Minutes‘ over coronavirus coverage: ‚This is like the fake news stuff‘

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro slammed “60 Minutes” for its coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in an interview with the CBS show while defending the Trump administration over claims of not being prepared to respond to it.

Asked about reports that the intelligence community was notifying the administration of the threat back in January, Navarro said, “This is like the fake news stuff.”

13.04.2020 - 12:58 [ Chuck Grassley, US Senator ]

FBI Ignored Early Warnings that Debunked Anti-Trump Dossier was Russian Disinformation

WASHINGTON – The “central and essential” evidence used to justify invasive surveillance of an American citizen in the FBI’s probe into Russian interference was, itself, an example of Russian interference, according to once-secret footnotes declassified at the urging of two U.S. Senators. The footnotes, part of the Justice Department Inspector General’s postmortem of the FBI’s flawed operation to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, were released just hours after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) renewed their push for transparency. The senators expect a fuller declassification in the coming days.

(…)

“It’s ironic that the Russian collusion narrative was fatally flawed because of Russian disinformation. These footnotes confirm that there was a direct Russian disinformation campaign in 2016, and there were ties between Russian intelligence and a presidential campaign – the Clinton campaign, not Trump’s.”

The IG report detailed how the FBI’s application for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Page relied heavily on an unverified dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele on behalf of Fusion GPS, which was conducting opposition research for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. According to Footnote 302, in October 2016, FBI investigators learned that one of Steele’s main sources was linked to the Russian Intelligence Service (RIS), and was rumored to be a former KGB/SVR officer. However, the FBI neglected to include this information in its application, which the FISA court approved that same month. Two months later, investigators learned that Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS, told a Justice Department attorney that he assessed the same source “was a RIS officer who was central in connecting Trump to Russia.” In January, the FISA warrant was renewed.

13.04.2020 - 12:12 [ Ron Johnson, US Senator / Wall Street Journal ]

Russian Disinformation Fed the FBI’s Trump Investigation

(10.04.2020)

Declassified footnotes to a Justice Department inspector general report show that the Federal Bureau of Investigation team investigating members of the Trump campaign received classified reports in 2017 identifying key pieces of the Steele dossier as products of a Russian disinformation campaign. This might be only the tip of the iceberg because other recently declassified information demonstrates that even more disinformation may have been planted in Christopher Steele’s reporting.

13.04.2020 - 11:41 [ Daily Caller ]

Oleg Deripaska Says He Hired Christopher Steele To Work On Research Project

(July 2, 2019)

Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska said he previously employed Christopher Steele, the author of the Trump dossier.
Deripaska said he hired Steele through his attorneys in London to work on an unspecific legal proceeding.
Steele investigated the Trump campaign on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

13.04.2020 - 11:31 [ CBS News ]

Footnotes in watchdog report indicate FBI knew of risk of Russian disinformation in Steele dossier

(10.04.2020)

Footnote 350 in the IG report addresses the FBI’s knowledge of Russian contacts with Steele and the potential for disinformation. Steele had „frequent contacts with representatives for multiple Russian oligarchs, we identified reporting the Crossfire Hurricane team received from (redacted) indicating the potential for Russian disinformation influencing Steele’s election reporting.“

The footnote also indicates that warnings to the FBI’s Russia probe became more pronounced over time.

13.04.2020 - 11:28 [ Washington Post ]

4 takeaways from the brutal new report on FBI surveillance

(31.03.2020)

The FBI’s surveillance of Americans including former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page isn’t exactly the issue du jour amid a global pandemic. But on Tuesday, a brutal inspector general’s report suggested that this will be something that the bureau and Congress will have to reckon with in the near future.

13.04.2020 - 10:50 [ Ansa.it ]

Coronavirus: Italy activates satellite to monitor nation amid lockdown

The announcement was made by European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic.
The civil protection will use Copernicus to make sure people are not gathering outside.

12.04.2020 - 08:54 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange fathered two children inside the Ecuadorian embassy with lawyer, 37, who fell in love with him while helping his fight against extradition to the US

Now, in a world exclusive interview, Miss Morris reveals how:

Assange watched both children being born in London hospitals via live video link and met Gabriel when he was smuggled into the embassy;

They believe American intelligence agencies tried to steal Gabriel’s DNA from a nappy after becoming suspicious that Assange was his father;

11.04.2020 - 22:17 [ The Intercept ]

Lawsuit Aims to Stop Baltimore Police From Using War-Zone Surveillance System to Spy on Residents

“This isn’t the first time that local law enforcement has sought to use technology that was originally developed for the military in war zones abroad,” Ashley Gorski, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, wrote in an email. “But the Constitution clearly prohibits the use of these spy planes against Americans here at home.”

09.04.2020 - 15:33 [ @Bexy23268026 / Twitter ]

Wow! #fakenews from ABC about a #NCMI #DIA November Intelligence warning on #COVIDー19

09.04.2020 - 15:32 [ CNN ]

ABC News: US intelligence warned of China’s spreading contagion in November

(08.04.2020)

NCMI denied the existence of the report later Wednesday, saying that „no such NCMI product exists.“

09.04.2020 - 15:31 [ ABC News ]

Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November: Sources

(09.04.2020)

All of that culminated with a detailed explanation of the problem that appeared in the President’s Daily Brief of intelligence matters in early January, the sources said.

04.04.2020 - 18:27 [ Electronic Frontier Foundation ]

How EFF Evaluates Government Demands for New Surveillance Powers

Even in the midst of a crisis, the public must carefully evaluate such government demands, because surveillance invades privacy, deters free speech, and unfairly burdens vulnerable groups. It also metastasizes behind closed doors. And new surveillance powers tend to stick around. For example, nearly two decades after the 9/11 attacks, the NSA is still conducting dragnet Internet surveillance.

Thus, when governments demand new surveillance powers—especially now, in the midst of a crisis like the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak—EFF has three questions:

– First, has the government shown its surveillance would be effective at solving the problem?
– Second, if the government shows efficacy, we ask: Would the surveillance do too much harm to our freedoms?
– Third, if the government shows efficacy, and the harm to our freedoms is not excessive, we ask: Are there sufficient guardrails around the surveillance?