News you may have missed #403

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News you may have missed #336

  • CIA tech arm invests in camera lens start-up. The CIA’s venture-capital investment arm, In-Q-Tel, has struck again. This time it has funded LensVector, a hi-tech start-up that specializes in micro-camera technology for cell phones.
  • NSA cyberdefense exercise underway. Detailed status report on the National Security Agency’s 10th annual Cyber Defense Exercise, a competition that pits students from a series of US military academies against each other –and against the competition’s leaders at NSA– in a bid to see who has the best cyberdefense skills.
  • US spy researchers working on computational intel. IARPA, the US intelligence community’s research arm, is apparently working on a new program, called Aggregative Contingent Estimation, which aims to create a computational model that can enhance human hypotheses and predictions, by catching inevitable biases and accounting for selective memory and stress in intelligence analysis.

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US government urged to release data on social networking spying

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By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
An Internet watchdog has filed a court complaint to force the US government to disclose how its law enforcement and spy agencies monitor social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. IntelNews regulars have known since October that the CIA has invested in a private software company specializing in monitoring online social media, such as YouTube, Twitter and Flickr. Additionally, we have previously reported on persistent rumors that the National Security Agency, America’s communications spying outfit, is actively monitoring popular social networking sites in order to make links between individuals and construct maps of who associates with whom. Now the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) wants to find out the extent to which US intelligence and law enforcement agencies are secretly monitoring social networking sites on the Internet. Read more of this post

US spy agencies invest in Internet-monitoring company

In-Q-Tel logo

In-Q-Tel logo

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture-capital investment arm, is funding a private software company specializing in monitoring online social media, such as YouTube, Twitter and Flickr. The company, Visible Technologies, unleashes web crawlers that scan and sift through over half a million Internet sites a day, looking for open-source intelligence (OSINT) of interest to its customers. The latter receive real-time updates of Internet activity, based on specific sets of keywords they provide. Noah Shachtman, of Wired’s Danger Room blog, correctly notes that In-Q-Tel’s latest investment is indicative of a wider trend within US intelligence agencies to enhance their foreign OSINT collection and analysis. Incidentally, the US Pentagon has shown similar interests since 2006. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0107

  • CIA invests with low-power Wi-Fi company. The CIA’s investment arm, In-Q-Tel, has announced a strategic investment and technology development agreement with GainSpan. The company makes single-chip wireless sensor networks and other embedded applications, with the aim of enabling portable devices to run for up to 10 years on a single AA battery. In-Q-Tel has invested with more than 140 companies in recent years, including relatively unknown software startups Lingotek and Lucid Imagination.
  • Indian spies released from Pakistani prison seek compensation. Three Indian intelligence agents, who were in recent years released from captivity in Pakistani jails, have said that the Indian government has not honored its commitment to take care of them and their families.

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News you may have missed #0050

  • Cuban Five to be given new sentences in October. Washington accuses the Five of spying on the US for Cuba. But an appeals court has ruled that the sentences they received (ranging from life to 19 years) were too long. New sentences will be imposed on October 13. The Cuban government has said that it would be willing to swap jailed political dissidents for the Five.
  • CIA invests in web-based software company –again. The CIA’s venture-capital investment arm, In-Q-Tel, appears to be really fond of Lingotek, a tiny software company in Draper, Utah. Last month, In-Q-Tel funded another software start-up, Lucid Imagination.
  • Canada to investigate spy service’s role in Abdelrazik’s torture. Canada’s Security Intelligence Review Committee has agreed to probe the case of Abousfian Abdelrazik, who was renditioned to Sudan by Canada’s Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). He says he was severely tortured by Sudanese guards and interrogators.

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News you may have missed #0004