(CNN) An unarmed Russian Air Force aircraft overflew the US Capitol, the Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency and Joint Base Andrews at low altitude on Wednesday as part of a longstanding treaty that allows the militaries of the United States and Russia to observe the other from the air, according to two people familiar with the flight.
The flight was part of the Treaty on Open Skies, which allows military aircraft from the United States and Russia and other nations to fly aerial observation flights to observe military sites of the 34 signatory nations.
A new report authored by a consortium of government and private organizations in Britain has revealed the existence of a computer hacking operation, allegedly based in China, that is said to be “one of the largest ever” such campaigns globally. The operation is believed to have compromised sensitive information from an inestimable number of private companies in Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States. The report was produced by a consortium of public and private organizations, including BAE systems and the London-based National Cyber Security Centre, an office of the United Kingdom’s signals intelligence agency, the Government Communications Headquarters. It details the outcome of Operation CLOUD HOPPER, which was launched to uncover the cyber espionage activities. Continue reading
This story, from the Jan. 12, 2017, edition of the New York Times, was little-remarked upon at the time, but suddenly has taken on far greater significance in light of current events:
In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.
The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.
The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people. Continue reading
For the first time since 1985, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation broke the John Walker spy ring, an active United States Navy officer has been charged with espionage. On Sunday, the US Navy reported the arrest Lt. Cmdr. Edward C. Lin, who faces two counts of espionage and three counts of attempted espionage, among other charges. Aside from a three-page, heavily redacted charge sheet released by the US Navy, almost nothing is known about this case. However, there are several clues that point to the seriousness of the charges against Lin, and their potential ramifications for US national security, which are likely to be extensive. Continue reading
As Greece celebrates the inauguration of its anti-austerity government, the euphoria should be tempered with a bit of realism. Although new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who named his son “Ernesto” after Cuban revolutionary Ernesto “Ché” Guevara, and the vast majority of his new Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) government have good left-wing and pro-labor credentials, the same cannot be necessarily said of the man Tsipras chose to be Greece’s new finance minister. Yanis Varoufakisis a citizen of Australia who was educated in Britain and worked as a professor at the University of Texas. Europe has witnessed such dual nationals with conflicting loyalties take power in countries in Eastern Europe, most notably in Ukraine, where American Natalie Jaresko became finance minister in order to deliver International MonetaryFund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB) austerity “poison pills” to Ukraine. Continue reading
Would it make sense for a Russian submarine to sound a distress call and disappear? This could very well be news to plant distrust in the Swedish government. At this point, it’s still too early to say what should be made out of this.
There was no Russian distress call. That’s the opinion of a Swedish signal intelligence (SIGINT) source after a massive $2.8mn military and media sub-hunt consumed the country for a week.
Reports of a Russian distress signal and a grainy-picture were enough to deploy the navy while the media widely concluded the vessel had to be a Russian submarine spooking Stockholm. Continue reading
The existence of a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) communications installation atop Hong Kong’s tallest mountain – the 957 m-high peak of Tai Mo Shan – recently came to light.
Construction began around 2010, with a geodesic dome first appearing in satellite imagery in 2011. The facility has been operational for approximately three years. Continue reading
Lest we also forget the quote in Pravda where Putin reportedly said Russian nuclear missiles were already reinstalled in Cuba.
- Facility at Lourdes was the largest Russian listening post abroad
- It was mothballed in 2001 after relations with the U.S. warmed
- But relations with the West have deteriorated amid the Ukraine crisis
- Moscow has also shown a new interest in Latin America and Cuba
- Last week, Russia agreed to write off 90 per cent of Cuba’s debt
Russia has agreed to reopen a major Cold War listening post on Cuba that was used to spy on America, it was reported today.
Moscow-based daily Kommersant claimed Russia and Cuba have struck a deal ‘in principle’ after President Vladimir Putin visited the island last week.
Citing several sources within Russian authorities, the respected daily wrote: ‘The agreements were finalised while President Vladimir Putin visited Havana last Friday. Continue reading
For years, the US government loudly warned the world that Chinese routers and other internet devices pose a “threat” because they are built with backdoor surveillance functionality that gives the Chinese government the ability to spy on anyone using them. Yet what the NSA’s documents show is that Americans have been engaged in precisely the activity that the US accused the Chinese of doing.
The drumbeat of American accusations against Chinese internet device manufacturers was unrelenting. In 2012, for example, a report from the House Intelligence Committee, headed by Mike Rogers, claimed that Huawei and ZTE, the top two Chinese telecommunications equipment companies, “may be violating United States laws” and have “not followed United States legal obligations or international standards of business behaviour”. The committee recommended that “the United States should view with suspicion the continued penetration of the US telecommunications market by Chinese telecommunications companies”. Continue reading
What was not known was that at the same time, the Russian Navy vessel CCB-201 – one of the Russian Navy’s largest intelligence vessels – was present in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The CCB-201 is no ordinary intelligence vessel, but rather a naval intelligence gathering unit which is similar in its characteristics to Israel’s Unit 8200 – a SIGINT collection and decryption unit capable of intercepting and listening to military transmissions between naval vessels and aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea.
From past experience, it appears that the purpose of the visit to the area is for gathering intelligence on NATO and US force activities, as well as Israel’s readiness with regards to the situation in Syria – where Russia has military interests and assets, and thus is concerned of military intervention. Continue reading