News you may have missed #887 (Anglosphere edition)

Ian FletcherBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org
►►Canadian military deploys spies during Arctic exercise. The Canadian military has been routinely deploying a counter-intelligence team to guard against possible spying, terrorism and sabotage during its annual Arctic exercise, according to internal documents. In the view of intelligence experts, the move is unusual because Operation NANOOK is conducted on Canadian soil in remote locations of the Far North.
►►Sudden resignation of NZ spy chief raises questions. Opposition parties in New Zealand have raised questions over the sudden resignation of Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), Ian Fletcher, who is stepping down after three years in the role. Chris Finlayson, the minister responsible for the spy agency, said Fletcher was making the move for family reasons. Fletcher will finish in the role on 27 February and an acting director will be appointed from that date.
►►British government argues for more powers for spy agencies. Britain’s spying agencies need more powers to read the contents of communications in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, British Prime Minister David Cameron has said. Speaking in Nottingham, he said the intelligence agencies need more access to both communications data –records of phone calls and online exchanges between individuals– and the contents of communications. This is compatible with a “modern, liberal democracy”, he said.

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News you may have missed #870

Carl LodyBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org
►►Documents show NZ spies taught ‘honey trap’ tricks. Members of New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau were briefed by counterparts from the ultra-secret Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group, a unit of the British Signals intelligence agency GCHQ, on setting honey traps and Internet “dirty tricks” to “control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp” online discourse, documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal. According to the slides, JTRIG conducted “honey traps”, sent computer viruses, deleted the online presence of targets and engaged in cyber-attacks on the “hacktivist” collective Anonymous.
►►Ex-CIA analyst tells how data helped catch bin Laden. A central figure in the manhunt for Osama bin Laden, Nada Bakos spoke this week as the keynote speaker at a conference in California, on how data, big and small, led to the capture of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. “You don’t want to lead the information, you want the information to lead you”, she said, and credited the agency’s innovative gathering process that institutionalized various types of intelligence analysis —opposed to solely relying on general guidelines and best practices.
►►The story of WWI German spy Carl Lody. Towards the end of August 1914 a man checked into what is now the Balmoral Hotel in the centre of Edinburgh claiming to be an American tourist. In reality he was a German spy who had been sent to gather intelligence from the British. Carl Lody was a junior naval officer who had been forced to retire for health reasons but was looking for other ways to serve the fatherland. He was especially attractive to German naval intelligence because he had lived for years in the United States and spoke English fluently, although with an American accent.

News you may have missed #526

  • Russia convicts colonel of exposing US spy ring. Colonel Alexander Poteyev has received a (relatively lenient) 25-year sentence for exposing a Russian ‘sleeper cell’ network in the United States. The sentence was delivered in absentia, as Poteyev is believed to have defected to the US, where he probably lives under an assumed identity. As he was fleeing Russia in June 2010, he texted his wife: “try to take this calmly: I am leaving not for a short time but forever. I am starting a new life. I shall try to help the children”. Here is the most detailed recent account the Poteyev’s case in English.
  • Libyan defector holed up in luxury hotel. Moussa Koussa, Libya’s former intelligence chief and foreign minister, faced calls last night to return to Britain for prosecution after he was tracked down to a penthouse suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where he has been living under the protection of the Qatari security services.
  • New NZ SIGINT spy agency boss named. The government of New Zealand has appointed Simon Murdoch as the acting chief executive and director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) intelligence agency.

News you may have missed #514

  • The spy kid. Multipart series by The Oregonian‘s Bryan Denson, on Nathaniel James Nicholson, son of CIA double agent Harold James Nicholson, who was convicted for spying on the US for Russia. Nathaniel was convicted in 2009 for maintaining contacts with his father’s Russian handlers.
  • Listening bug found in NZ MP’s home. Sources close to New Zealand’s Government Communication Security Bureau (GCSB) have said that at least one clandestine listening device has been found after a sweep of senior government officials’ homes.
  • Israel sells spy camera to Turkey despite concerns. Israel’s defense establishment has approved the sale to Turkey of the Long-Range Oblique Photography pod, a sophisticated intelligence system considered the pinnacle in Israeli military technology, despite worsening relations between the two countries.

News you may have missed #312

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News you may have missed #0024

  • Guantánamo prisoner asked to spy on homeland radicals. Umar Abdulayev, from Tajikistan, who has been held in Guantánamo for seven years, claims in court filings that he was visited by Tajik intelligence agents in Guantánamo, who asked him to spy on Tajik Muslim radicals in exchange for his release. Abdulayev has refused the offer and has asked for asylum at a third country.
  • We were not hacked, says NZ spy agency. A New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) spokesman has denied the agency’s website was hacked on July 9. Those visiting the GCSB website on that day were presented with an error message.
  • Saudi charity lawyers ask federal judge to outlaw NSA wiretap program. Saudi-based charity Al-Haramain was taken to court in September 2004 by the US government, which accused it of maintaining terrorist links. But its lawyers have managed to reverse the case, and may now be close to getting a US federal judge to rule against warrantless NSA wiretapping.
  • Cyber attacks came from 16 countries. South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) officials have disclosed that the cyberattacks that paralyzed major South Korean websites last weekend were mounted from at least 16 different countries. Earlier this week, NIS said it believed North Korea or pro-Pyongyang forces were behind the attacks, which also affected US government websites.

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