News you may have missed #718 (GCHQ edition)

GCHQ center in Cheltenham, EnglandBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►GCHQ releases Alan Turing papers. Britain’s signals intelligence agency, GCHQ has released two mathematical papers written by cryptographer Alan Turing after keeping the works secret for over half a century. The intelligence agency believes the handwritten papers were produced by Turing during his time at Bletchley Park, the World War II code-breaking center. The year 2012 marks the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth. Turing, whose work heavily contributing to the Allied war effort, committed suicide in 1954 by taking cyanide. Turing had been convicted of homosexuality, which was then a crime, and was given the choice between prison or chemical castration. The UK government officially apologized over Turing’s treatment in 2009, over 50 years after his death.
►►Britain’s GCHQ sued for ‘racism’. Alfred Bacchus, 42, claims he was bullied by bosses while he was a senior press officer at the Government Communications Headquarters in Cheltenham. He says he wanted to publish an official report in 2010 into race bias inside GCHQ which warned that not enough ethnic minority staff were being recruited to help fight terrorism. It found that black and Asian intelligence officers at GCHQ complained of a racist culture in which they were insulted by white colleagues and challenged over their loyalty to Britain.
►►Ex-GCHQ chief wants more surveillance of Facebook and Twitter. Sir David Omand, an ex-Cabinet Office security chief and former director of Britain’s GCHQ electronic eavesdropping agency, said it was essential that monitoring of social media was put on a proper legal footing. A report by the think-tank Demos, which Sir David co-authored, said existing laws regulating the interception of communications by police and intelligence agencies needed to be overhauled to meet the complexities of social media. However, the ability of state security agencies and the police to intercept social network communications such as tweets must be placed on a clear legal footing, the report says.

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CIA sued for allegedly discriminating against covert officer

CIA HQ

CIA HQ

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
A former CIA officer, who served the Agency in a covert capacity, has sued his former employer claiming he was discriminated against because he is married to an Asian woman. According to the lawsuit, filed recently at a San Francisco court, covert CIA employee Walter Roule claims the his CIA supervisor favored junior officers with Caucasian wives for overseas postings, thus giving them more opportunities for promotion. Roule also claims that his supervisor threatened the careers of other CIA officers of Asian background, or with Asian partners, if they supported Roule’s discrimination complaint. In his court filing, the former covert CIA officer alleges that the discriminatory behavior started in 2006, when he was covertly posted in “the Northern District of California in a hybrid position”. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #432

  • French spy agency chief warns of high terror risk. Bernard Squarcini, director of France’s Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST) counterintelligence agency, has warned that the country’s military presence in Afghanistan is among the reasons that have made France a prime target for radical Islamist groups.
  • Iran frees one of three Americans held on spy charges. American Sarah Shourd, who has been held in Iran for more than a year on suspicion of spying, has been released by authorities in the Islamic Republic.
  • American civil rights photographer was FBI informant. New information shows that celebrated civil rights-era photographer Ernest Withers had been a paid informant for the FBI, reporting on the whereabouts and activities of the movement’s leaders, many of whom considered him a personal friend.

FBI in hot seat over controversial use of informants

Craig Monteilh

Craig Monteilh

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, America’s primary domestic counterintelligence agency, is facing a storm of criticism over allegedly using informants to spy on Muslim and ultra right-wing groups. The most controversial of the two cases is arguably that of New Jersey talk radio host and blogger Harold “Hal” Turner, who has been described as a vocal supporter of white supremacist groups. Turner was charged last June for arguing on his blog that three Chicago federal appeals court judges “deserve to be killed”, and for posting photographs of the judges along with their work addresses and an area map of the Chicago federal courthouse. If convicted, Turner faces a $250,000 restitution fine and up to 10 years in prison. What is interesting, however, is that Turner told a judge that he was a paid FBI informant, code-named “Valhalla”, and was trained by the Bureau to infiltrate and monitor white supremacist groups. The FBI denied any connection to Turner, but The Bergen Record newspaper in New Jersey gained access to court records and verified the truth in Turner’s claims. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0068

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