News you may have missed #415

  • GCHQ tech arm adopts new personnel evaluation tests. The Communications Electronics Security Group is the information assurance arm of the General Communications Headquarters –Britain’s equivalent of the National Security Agency. CESG has now adopted a new testing method of verifying the competency of its IT security professionals, because apparently there are “not enough security professionals in the public and private sectors to go around”.
  • Swapped Russian insists he was no CIA spy. Of the four jailed Russians the US received from Moscow in exchange for the 11 Russian illegals in July, only one is talking. But Igor Sutyagin, a nuclear proliferation expert, who was convicted of links with a CIA front-company, insists he was no CIA spy. However, if that is so, why was he on Washington’s swap list in the first place?
  • Militants target Yemen spy officials. Two officers in Yemen’s Political Security Organization, Colonel Ali Abdul Kareem al-Ban, and Juman Safian, have been shot dead in recent days. Al-Qaeda militants, who assumed responsibility for the attacks, warned they will be stepping up operations inside neighboring Saudi Arabia.

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Analysis: US commentator argues in favor of breaking up NSA

NSA Headquarters


The US National Security Agency (NSA) is a gigantic intelligence organization –the world’s largest– which is tasked by the US government with worldwide communications surveillance, as well as communications security. But Wired magazine’s Noah Shachtman explains that the NSA’s two-fold mission forces two essentially distinct agencies to coexist under one roof. There’s the signals-intelligence directorate, the Big Brothers who, it is said, can tap into any electronic communication. And there’s the information-assurance directorate, the cybersecurity nerds whose job is to make sure the US government’s computers and telecommunications systems are hacker- and eavesdropper-free. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0208

  • Georgia denies entry to Russian ‘spies’. Georgia has denied entry to a delegation of Russian scholars from the Russian State Archive and the Center for Caucasian Research at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. It’s the second time this year that the Georgians have accused Russian researchers of being spies.
  • US monitors China’s hiring of foreign journalists. A report by the Open Source Center of the US Directorate of National Intelligence notes that China has been hiring a growing number of foreign reporters to serve as overseas correspondents.
  • Audio interview with NSA’s information assurance director. Dickie George, technical director of information assurance at the US National Security Agency, has given a rare audio interview to GovInfo Security. The first part of the interview is available here. The second part will be posted in a few days.

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News you may have missed #0092

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Comment: Security is a Democratic Imperative

British public opinion was shocked recently by the controversial arrest of Conservative Member of Parliament and Shadow Immigration Minister Damian Green, which, critics have charged, amounted to a “Stalinist” act of a police state. Mr. Green was arrested in connection with a series of leaks of immigration-related information from the British Home office. Having failed to uncover the source of the leak, the Home Office contacted London’s Metropolitan Police in early October, with a request for help. The investigation led to Christopher Galley, a junior Home Office official, who in turn led police to the next link in the chain, namely Mr. Green. Early in the afternoon of November 27, the Conservative Parliamentarian was arrested and his offices and residence were searched. Mr. Green was held in police custody for nine hours before being released. Keep reading →

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