News you may have missed #759 (analysis edition)

Carter HamBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►What goes on in the mind of a spy? An interesting article on the psychology of espionage operatives and those who handle them. It includes several insightful observations, including this one: “Just as they face outward physical dangers, agents face many inner psychological adversities. These pressures in the psyche are as taxing as physical hardships. Furthermore, while physical hazards and hardships disappear once the active espionage is over, the psychological toll can linger”. IntelNews has covered psychological and psychiatric issues around espionage before.
►►Researchers propose using decoys to detect leaks. A group or researchers working for the US Pentagon’s research wing have come up with a new plan for busting leakers: spot them by how they search, and then entice the secret-spillers with decoy documents that will give them away. Computer scientists call it it “fog computing”, and it is seen as part of a broader assault on so-called “insider threats”, launched by the Pentagon in 2010, after the WikiLeaks imbroglio. In a related development, the US federal government announced recently that it spent over $11 billion to protect its secrets last year, double the cost of classification a decade ago. The total does not include the costs incurred by the US Intelligence Community, which remains classified.
►►US General says US military spies ‘across Africa’. America’s top commander in Africa, General Carter Ham, has revealed that the US military has conducted spy operations all over the continent as part of the fight against international adversaries from al Qaeda-allied terror groups that target the homeland to suspected war criminals like Joseph Kony. “Do we collect information across Africa? Yes, we do”, the commander of US Africa Command said in a leadership conference at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. Ham noted that US troops do at times go on “short-term deployments of capabilities” in various African nations, but always with the permission of the host country.

News you may have missed #595

Bruce Carlson

Bruce Carlson

►►US commander sees proliferation threat in Libyan chemicals. Libya’s stockpile of chemical warfare materials remains a potential source of proliferation, General Carter Ham, the US military commander for Africa, told reporters on Wednesday. In addition to chemical materials, Ham said he is concerned about shoulder-fired missiles falling into the hands of al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or Boko Haram, the continent’s three major extremist organizations.
►►NRO spy satellites on time and on budget. Bruce Carlson, director of the US National Reconnaissance Office, has told reporters in Washington that every one of his agency’s programs is on time and on budget. This is seen as a success for the US intelligence community, which is known for botched and grossly over-budget programs outsourced to industry.
►►Watchdog says Canadian spies must follow same rules abroad. A new report by the watchdog body for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service argues that rules governing the conduct of Canadian spies do not relax once they leave Canada. While it cleared CSIS of complicity in any detainee abuse in America’s ‘war on terrorism’, the report did criticize the country’s spymasters for lax record keeping and for sending CSIS officers overseas without sufficient guidance.