News you may have missed #758

Heinz FrommBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►NSA head claims Americans’ emails ‘won’t be read’. The House of Representatives in April approved a bill that would allow the government and companies to share information about hacking. Critics have raised privacy concerns about the sharing of such information, fearing it would allow the National Security Agency, which also protects government computer networks, to collect data on American communications, which is generally prohibited by law. But in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, NSA Director Keith Alexander said that the new law would not mean that the NSA would read their personal email.
►►German spy chief quits in neo-Nazi files scandal. The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Verfassungsschutz, Heinz Fromm, resigned last week, after admitting that his agency had shredded files on a neo-Nazi cell whose killing spree targeting immigrants rocked the country late last year. The “National Socialist Underground” (NSU), which went undetected for more than a decade despite its murder of 10 people, mostly ethnic Turkish immigrants. German media have said an official working in the intelligence agency is suspected of having destroyed files on an operation to recruit far-right informants just one day after the involvement of the NSU in the murders became public. Fromm had led the Verfassungsschutz since 2000.
►►US spy agency accused of illegally collecting data. The US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is pressuring its polygraphers to obtain intimate details of the private lives of thousands of job applicants and employees, pushing the ethical and legal boundaries of a program that is designed to catch spies and terrorists, an investigation has found. The NRO appears so intent on extracting confessions of personal or illicit behavior of its employees, that its officials have admonished polygraphers who refused to go after them and rewarded those who did, sometimes with cash bonuses. And in other cases, when it seems the NRO should notify law enforcement agencies of its candidates’ or employees’ past criminal behavior, it has failed to do so.

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News you may have missed #418

  • US military pays for intel widely available online. Experts say that the vast majority of the ‘intelligence’ needed by the United States is freely available on the Internet. But that has not stopped a company called Military Periscope from selling its subscription services to the US government, on things such as updates on foreign militaries, peacekeeping missions, weapons databases and terrorist organizations “via monthly CD-ROM delivery”.
  • Son of Russian spies could return to US for school. Tim Foley, the elder son of Donald Howard Heathfield and Tracey Lee Ann Foley, the two deported US residents who were living a double life as Russian spies, may be trying to return to study in the United States, but his younger brother plans to stay in Moscow.
  • German spy chief notes cyberattack surge. Cyberattacks against German corporate and government computers have been on the rise since 2005, according to Heinz Fromm, Director of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. He said the attacks “come mainly from Asia, often from China”, and that often “state agencies are involved”.