News you may have missed #663

X-37B spaceplaneBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►Indian spy agency seeks more wiretap powers. As intelNews reported in December, India’s primary intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was granted unfettered access to intercept electronic communications inside India. According to reports from India, the country’s Department of Telecommunications has now asked Interpol to help it gain access to encrypted electronic communications exchanged over Skype, BlackBerry telephones, etc. But doesn’t the Indian government already have access to BlackBerry communications?
►►US spaceplane spying on China. America’s classified X-37B spaceplane is probably spying on China, according to a report in Spaceflight magazine. The unpiloted vehicle was launched into orbit by the US Air Force in March last year and has yet to return to Earth. The Pentagon has steadfastly refused to discuss its mission but amateur space trackers have noted how its path around the globe is nearly identical to China’s spacelab, Tiangong-1.
►►Mossad seeks Chinese speakers. Do you speak Chinese? If so, Israel’s Mossad needs you. Recently, the spy agency put up a job posting on its website for a strategic researcher. The ad notes that preference will be given to Chinese, Arabic and Persian speakers. Experience in intelligence work is also a plus. Notably, China maintains close relations with Iran and with Arab states, possibly prompting the Mossad to seek Chinese speakers for its current and future intelligence work.

News you may have missed #571 [updated]

Markus Wolf

Markus Wolf

►►East German spymaster’s widow loses pension battle. Andrea Wolf, The widow of Markus Wolf, the shadowy spymaster of communist East Germany, lost a court battle on Monday to reclaim his honorary pension. Dubbed “The Man Without a Face” because Western intelligence services long lacked even a photograph of him, Wolf directed the General Intelligence Administration, the foreign intelligence division of East Germany’s Stasi. He died in 2006, at the age of 83.
►►Dominica government officials deny spying accusations. Dominican officials have strongly denied accusations that the government of the former British colony, through the National Joint Intelligence Committee (NJIC), has been spying on the activities and actions of political activists over the last few months. According to the allegations, in one case, in April 2009, a member of the Dominica Police Force was sent to Brooklyn, New York, to spy on a conference on the political situation in Dominica, on orders from the country’s Prime Minister. But Dominica’s Police Commissioner, Cyril Carrette, denied the existence of NJIC, and called the accusations unfounded.
►►British spy agency called in to crack BlackBerry encryption. The British intelligence service, MI5, has been drafted in to assist its sister service, GCHQ, in cracking the BlackBerry encryption code, in order to find those responsible for Read more of this post

Emirates police says US, Israel, use BlackBerry to spy

Dahi Tamim

Dahi Tamim

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The alleged use of encrypted BlackBerry communications by adversary intelligence services operating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is prompting local authorities to consider a nationwide ban on the popular phone. This was revealed late last week by Dubai Police chief, Lt. General Dahi Khalfan bin Tamim, who repeated a warning by UAE authorities that BlackBerry services in the country will be curtailed on October 11, unless the government is given access to BlackBerry’s encryption code by the manufacturer. Several other countries in the Middle East and beyond have made similar moves, including Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, India and Indonesia, all of which have cited security reasons for the ban. But Lt. General Tamim’s comments provide the first known connection between a threat to ban BlackBerry and its alleged use by rival intelligence agencies. Read more of this post