News you may have missed #648

Academi HQ

►►IntelNews editor interviewed on RT. IntelNews senior editor, Dr Joseph Fitsanakis, was interviewed yesterday on the main news program of the popular international news channel RT. The interview, concerning the rebranding of private security company Xe Services (formerly Blackwater) to Academi, can be watched here (watch video at the bottom of the page).
►►Contractors making a killing working in UK cyberdefense. Britain has spent more than £100 million ($160 million) in the past year on consultants to combat cyber espionage and the growing use of the internet by terrorists. Now, members of Parliament are investigating the soaring costs of employing private contractors, some paid the equivalent of £150,000 a year, three times the average wage at GCHQ, the UK’s signals intelligence agency.
►►Japan launches second spy satellite. Japan’s space agency, JAXA, has launched an intelligence-gathering satellite, its second this year. Japan launched its first pair of spy satellites in 2003, prompted by concerns over North Korea’s missile program. It currently has four optical information-gathering satellites in orbit. Officials refused to provide details of the capabilities of the most recently launched satellite.

Happy birthday, IntelNews

1 year intelNews

1 year intelNews

A year ago today, on November 16, 2008, intelNews began its beta period, with a brief note I wrote on “Obama’s intelligence policy”. A year and over 750 postings later, Joseph Fitsanakis and I are still here, typing away on the ins and outs of the intelligence world. In these 12 months, we have enjoyed some welcome coverage in both the scholarly and popular press. We have also been threatened with a lawsuit, had our identities questioned, and denounced as “a very naive lot”, or as “spies” and “agent provocateurs” (in private correspondence). At the same time, we have seen visitor numbers rapidly exceed the 1,000-a-day mark and our email inboxes overfilled with messages, day after day. After 12 months of systematic blogging, one thing is clear: people around the world want to make sense of intelligence –that important, yet routinely unseen, parameter that shapes our lives through systems and techniques that remain largely unknown to the non-expert. Read more of this post

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