News you may have missed #0018

  • Retired Romanian football star now admits being a spy. Earlier this week, Gheorghe Popescu, whose international career included playing for British teams, denied reports that he was an informer for Romania’s Securitate, the secret service of communist Romania. But on Thursday morning, the former Tottenham Hotspurs defender admitted that he did inform on teammates and other colleagues while playing for Universitatea Craiova. 
  • Grand jury hears from top CIA officers on destruction of tapes. A federal courtroom in Virginia has become the latest frontline in the Justice Department’s effort to uncover who at the CIA ordered in November of 2005 the incineration of 92 videotapes containing footage of torture applied on several “war on terrorism” detainees. Apparently, the tapes were kept for a long time in a safe at the CIA station in Thailand, where the interrogations took place. 
  • NSA to help defend civilian agency networks. The Obama administration is said to have decided to proceed with a Bush-era plan to use National Security Agency assistance in screening government computer traffic on private-sector networks. The decision, which had been rumored since last spring, was one of the reasons behind the March 2009 resignation of Rod Beckstrom, who headed the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Center.
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Comment: Post-9/11 Intelligence Turf Wars Continue

Rod Beckstrom

Rod Beckstrom

By IAN ALLEN* | intelNews.org |
The stern assurances given to Americans after 9/11, that destructive turf wars between US intelligence agencies would stop, appear to be evaporating. Earlier this week, Rod Beckstrom, who headed the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) at the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), announced his resignation amidst a bitter row between the DHS and the National Security Agency (NSA) over the oversight of American cybersecurity. In a letter (.pdf) addressed to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, and carbon-copied to nearly every senior US intelligence and defense official, Beckstrom blasted the lack of “appropriate support [for NCSC] during the last administration”, as well as having to wrestle with “various roadblocks engineered within [DHS] by the Office of Management and Budget”. Most of all, Beckstrom, an industry entrepreneur who remained in his NCSC post for less than a year, accused the NSA of subverting NCSC’s cybersecurity role by trying to “subjugate” and “control” NCSC. 

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