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Breaking the Sound Barrier

Breaking the Sound Barrier

By Amy Goodman
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Tag: Spy


Edward Snowden: Surveillance, Spying Practices Have Brought U.S. to ‘Brink of the Abyss’

Edward Snowden has just been granted three more years of asylum in Russia, and the former NSA contractor-turned-whistle-blower is understandably choosy about whom he meets with in person. 

Posted on Aug 13, 2014 READ MORE



Tech Companies Boost Their Efforts to Stave Off Spy Agencies

Tech companies are in a new race to make it harder for spy agencies around the world, such as the NSA in the U.S., to access their customers’ data.

Posted on Jun 9, 2014 READ MORE


The Snowden Files

Posted on Feb 21, 2014 READ MORE



McDonald’s Heartless Advice to Its Low-Wage Workers

As many of the fast food chain’s employees struggle to feed their families, the company suggests they “break food into pieces” to feel full; Israel and Saudi Arabia join forces against Iran; meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security is funding a $2.6 million mesh network surveillance grid that has its eye on us all. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Nov 21, 2013 READ MORE



greenoid (CC BY-SA 2.0)

New Records Release Points to More NSA Privacy Invasions

Another round of declassified documents means another round of revelations about a spy agency run amok. But it’s OK, the NSA says it’s fixed it.

Posted on Sep 11, 2013 READ MORE



twicepix (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pentagon to Double Its Spy Payroll

The intelligence arm of the Pentagon aims to recruit up to 1,600 intelligence “collectors” to create an international spy network that would rival the CIA in size, sources told The Washington Post.

Posted on Dec 2, 2012 READ MORE



bbc.co.uk

Iran Refuses to Return U.S. Spy Drone

After an American drone was downed last week in Iran, the U.S. made the unrealistic request that Iranian authorities return the spy machine, and on Tuesday, that appeal was unsurprisingly rejected.

Posted on Dec 13, 2011 READ MORE



imdb.com

‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ … Clunker

Under Tomas Alfredson’s leaden direction, the film, which is set in the 1970s when the Cold War was at its height, consists mainly of guys enigmatically sipping whiskey, smoking cigarettes and exchanging meaningful stares.

Posted on Dec 9, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Anaxibia (CC-BY-SA)

Behold the Cyborg Spy Bugs of the Future

As if our current surveillance society wasn’t creepy enough, the wave of the spying future may come on the backs of creepy-crawlies. No joke—in tiny beetle “backpacks” or perhaps hitched around their wing muscles. Read it and get skeeved out.

Posted on Nov 24, 2011 READ MORE



cia.gov

Big CIA Bust Reported in Iran

This information, we should note, comes from Iran’s state-sponsored news agency, but officials in Tehran said Wednesday they had arrested as many as 12 CIA agents who had been working undercover to gather intelligence about the Iranian nuclear program and what the government planned to do with it.

Posted on Nov 24, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

CIA Takes a Big Hit in Lebanon

The CIA has lost a foothold, and some measure of its critical anonymity, in Lebanon after some of the spy agency’s operatives were exposed in recent months. Last June, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah triumphantly announced that at least two agents had been nabbed within his organization’s ranks ... (more)

Posted on Nov 21, 2011 READ MORE



CIA

What’s a Seasoned CIA Agent Doing at the NYPD?

Here’s a spooky story: The Central Intelligence Agency has once again called unwanted attention to its clandestine collaboration with the New York Police Department, a relationship that was fortified after 9/11 and led to special NYPD surveillance of the city’s Muslim communities, as it has come to the notice of select lawmakers and media outlets that an experienced CIA operative ... (more)

Posted on Oct 17, 2011 READ MORE



‘Tiger Trap’: 21st Century Espionage

For decades during the Cold War, the most captivating spy-vs.-spy battle was the one waged between Moscow and Washington. With the rise of China, a new player has entered the game.

Posted on Jun 30, 2011 READ MORE



CIA

Ex-Spy Says Bush White House Wanted to ‘Get’ Juan Cole

In a story that harks back to the bad old days of intelligence abuses, a former CIA spook says he and another agency staffer were asked by Bush administration officials to dig up dirt on Mideast scholar, Iraq war critic and Truthdig columnist Juan Cole. (more)

Posted on Jun 16, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Aqeel Ahmed

Pakistan Busts Alleged Aides in Bin Laden Blitz

This bit of news probably will not help the already dicey relationship between Pakistan and the U.S.: Pakistani officials have arrested five people believed to have assisted the CIA in the operation that felled Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad last month. 

Posted on Jun 15, 2011 READ MORE


Patriot Act Renewal

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Posted on May 29, 2011 READ MORE



AP / K.M. Chaudary

Pakistan to U.S.: Tone It Down With the Whole CIA Thing

It’s not like we couldn’t have seen this coming: Due in part to a special request made by the head of the Pakistani army, the U.S. has been asked to scale back significantly on the number of CIA operatives in Pakistan and to stop drone attacks on northern militants.

Posted on Apr 11, 2011 READ MORE



AP / K.M. Chaudary

American Nabbed in Pakistan Has CIA Ties

Last month’s arrest in Pakistan of one Raymond Davis, an American working security for other U.S. operatives in Lahore—and an American with clear employment ties to the CIA and previously to Blackwater Worldwide—has made for additional diplomatic strain between the two nations.

Posted on Feb 21, 2011 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton
AP / Jose Luis Magana

Another Diplomatic Oops for the U.S., Courtesy of WikiLeaks

The U.S. and the U.K. have maintained a diplomatically symbiotic relationship, to all appearances, for decades, but yet another WikiLeaks cable cropped up to harsh that friendly mellow late this week. Let the official backpedaling commence.

Posted on Feb 4, 2011 READ MORE


Russian spy ring
AP / Dana Verkouteren

Accused Russian Spies Plead Guilty

On Thursday, 10 members of an alleged Russian spy ring pleaded guilty of espionage in a New York courtroom—a move which, as previous reports suggested, could lead to a prisoner swap between Russia and the U.S. Ah, Cold War nostalgia.

Posted on Jul 8, 2010 READ MORE


Dubai murder suspects
AP / Dubai Ruler's Media Office

Dubai Accuses Israel of Forging Passports

Dubai’s Police Chief Dahi Khalfan had some fighting words for Israel on Tuesday, accusing the Israeli government of forging passports used by a hit squad of 27 suspects in the January murder of Hamas leader Mahmud al-Mabhuh, who Dubai police believe was killed by members of the Mossad.

Posted on Mar 9, 2010 READ MORE


intelligence agents
cia.gov

CIA, Pakistan Spying in Tandem

In case you didn’t know, there’s a “secret war,” as The New York Times puts it, going on in Pakistan, and the drone attacks that occasionally make headlines represent just one tactic that the U.S. is employing to target militants. Another involves CIA operatives joining forces with their Pakistani counterparts at the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, the ISI.

Posted on Feb 24, 2010 READ MORE


Bomb Kills 9, Wounds 50 at Pakistan Spy Agency

The latest in a string of attacks in Pakistan this week happened Friday when a bomb exploded outside the Inter-Services Intelligence agency’s northwest headquarters in Peshawar, killing at least nine people and wounding 50.

Posted on Nov 12, 2009 READ MORE



Library of Congress

Elderly Couple Arrested as Spies

A 72-year-old former State Department employee and his 71-year-old wife were arrested Thursday on charges of spying for the Cuban government. An undercover FBI agent reportedly tricked the couple into giving up their secret after they allegedly had been engaged in espionage for 30 years.

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE


Saberi
a.abcnews.com

Saberi’s Side of the Story

Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi just got back to the States following six years in Iran, the last four of which she spent in prison under an allegation of spying—a charge she initially confessed to but later recanted. Saberi recounted her story on Thursday’s edition of “All Things Considered” on NPR, one of the outlets for which she reported while in Iran.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE



CIA

Obama Picks Top Spies

The president-elect has reportedly chosen Leon Panetta to head the CIA and retired Adm. Dennis Blair as director of national intelligence. Both men bring a mixed bag. Panetta is an experienced bureaucrat, but he’s no James Bond. Blair has been praised for his terrorist-fighting skills, but he was criticized for a supposed conflict of interest that benefited defense contractors.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / sergis blog

Maryland Police Keep You Safe From Terrorist Nuns

How did two nuns end up on a list of terrorists? Blame a now-defunct investigation by the Maryland State Police, who sent undercover troopers to spy on political groups and identify supposed terrorists, among them pacifists, environmentalists, a congressional candidate and those two feisty nuns. Update 

Posted on Dec 7, 2008 READ MORE


Pillow Talk
thirdphaze.com

Report: NSA Listened In on Americans’ Phone Sex

Just what kind of interpretation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act would allow U.S. National Security Agency linguists to eavesdrop on Americans’, er, pillow talk? That’s the charge being leveled by more than one such NSA interpreter who worked at an NSA listening station at Fort Gordon, Ga.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Bullit Marquez

“Where Are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?”

Dave continued pacing back and forth in front of Mohammed. “My president,” he said, “is in trouble. Can you help him?” Mohammed was taken aback by the question. “Excuse me?” he asked. “Could you repeat yourself?” Dave sat down next to the Iraqi. “George Bush is in trouble. Our people did not find any WMD in Iraq. Can you help us?”

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Sir Mildred Pierce

The NRA’s Activist Plant

An investigation by Mother Jones has turned up an interesting life—one Mary McFate, aka Mary Lou Sapone, who for years worked as a national figure in the gun-control movement and as a paid spy for the NRA. According to the mag, McFate held board positions in numerous activist groups while her alter ego has been known to infiltrate such organizations for a fee.

Posted on Aug 7, 2008 READ MORE



news.bbc.co.uk

Reporting From Burma: A Thriller

BBC reporter Paul Danahar had to go to great lengths in order to report from Burma. A secret identity was just one method for avoiding the military intelligence agents who scoured the country looking for the journalist who dared to report on the devastation of Cyclone Nargis, which struck May 3.

Posted on May 14, 2008 READ MORE


Gates
AP photo / Mark Wilson, pool)

U.S. Claims Successful Hit on Faulty Satellite

The official reason the U.S. military offered for its show of fireworks Wednesday night high above the Pacific was to shoot down, using an anti-satellite missile, a failed spy satellite before it might do damage upon reentry. However, not everyone read the skywriting that way.

Posted on Feb 21, 2008 READ MORE


uncle sam

America Is Watching You

The “Last Days of Democracy” author warns that Congress is about to aid the Bush administration with its Orwellian plans by granting retroactive immunity to the telecommunications giants for helping the government spy on Americans.

Posted on Oct 30, 2007 READ MORE


satellite
defenseindustrydaily.com

Intel Chief Expands Spy Satellite Access

For those of us who are alarmed by Google Maps’ satellite-generated views of our homes and favorite stomping grounds, a recent decision made by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell ought to stand some hairs on end.

Posted on Aug 15, 2007 READ MORE


Intelligence Chief to Revise Spy Rules

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, with the blessing of the White House, will rewrite the Reagan-era executive order that defines the function of the United States’ many spy agencies and prohibits espionage against Americans. While critics concede that the order is out of date, they worry that an administration with a fondness for spying on its own might seize the opportunity to trample on a few civil liberties.

Posted on Jun 12, 2007 READ MORE


Spy Satellite
news.bbc.co.uk

Satellite Spy Agency Gets Bilked

Spy satellites provide much of the intelligence community’s raw data, whether snapshots of Iran’s nuclear facilities or al-Qaida training camps. David Kaplan has the story on how the National Reconnaissance Office, the $7.5-billion-a-year agency that builds and operates the satellites, has had to contend with potentially massive fraud among its many contractors.

Posted on Feb 6, 2007 READ MORE


Litvinenko
channel4.com

Mysteriously Poisoned Spy Dies, Mysteriously

Alexander V. Litvinenko is dead after suffering an extensive illness he believed was caused by poisoning.  A former KGB agent, Litvinenko had become critical of the Russian government. He began feeling ill after meeting in London with two Russians and an Italian security specialist.

Posted on Nov 24, 2006 READ MORE


EU Rules Financial Spying Program Illegal

A European Union oversight committee has concluded that the data sharing program between the U.S. and a European financial consortium broke the law by violating the civil liberties of European citizens.  The decision may prompt the EU’s ruling body to sue Belgium for allowing the program to continue.

Posted on Nov 22, 2006 READ MORE


Triple Cross
Huffington Post

‘The Most Dangerous Man Alive’

Read an excerpt of the explosive new book “Triple Cross,” which tells the story of Ali Abdel Saoud Mohamed, Osama bin Laden’s most trusted security adviser, who infiltrated the U.S. Army Special Forces and served as an FBI informant—all the while overseeing some of the most infamous Al Qaeda terror strikes of the last decade. (Excerpt, and more info).

Posted on Nov 17, 2006 READ MORE


Court Delays Wiretapping Ban

Although a judge recently ruled Bush’s warrentless wiretapping program unconstitutional, a federal court unanimously agreed to keep the program running until an appeal is decided, though the three judges involved gave little explanation as to how they reached their decision.

Posted on Oct 5, 2006 READ MORE


Marie Cocco: Dirty Tricks at HP

“In this political atmosphere, who could blame Hewlett-Packard for believing it could spy on reporters—or even try to intimidate them?”

Posted on Sep 25, 2006 READ MORE


Bush to Be Subpoenaed in Spying Case

From U.S. Newswire: “Two lawyers who brought the first lawsuit against the Bush administration, Verizon and AT&T for illegally examining the phone records of virtually every American citizen will announce today that they are serving subpoenas on the Bush White House and on Verizon.”
We suspect those lawyers may have a bit of trouble nailing down that particular deposition.

Posted on Aug 29, 2006 READ MORE


Republicans to Spy Agencies: Make Iran Scarier

Senior Bush officials and other top Republicans are apparently angry that U.S. intelligence agencies aren’t issuing more ominous threats about Iran. The GOP’ers, marred by (but unrepentant for) their Iraq debacle, are eager to use their lethal Tonka Toys once again—this time in Iran.

  • Check out an intelligence expert at AMERICAblog who argues that Iran poses no imminent threat to the U.S.

    Posted on Aug 24, 2006 READ MORE


  • wiretapping

    Judge OK’s Wiretap Lawsuit

    A federal judge has denied the government?s request to dismiss a lawsuit against AT&T.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing AT&T for its involvement in the NSA?s wiretapping program.

    Posted on Jul 21, 2006 READ MORE


    Parents Use Gadgets to Spy on Teens

    Invasion of privacy is not just for the NSA anymore! Parents have always snooped, but as the SF Chronicle reveals, new tech toys are taking what was once standard parental prying to a whole new level of unacceptable surveillance and spying. Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned conversation? (Via boingboing.net)

    Posted on Jul 10, 2006 READ MORE


    Wen Ho Lee
    AP

    Robert Scheer: Media Failed Its Duty in Lee Case

    Five of the largest U.S. newspapers shirked their journalistic responsibility by covering up the government’s outrageous smear campaign against Los Alamos nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee. 

    Posted on Jun 6, 2006 READ MORE


    Strange Bedfellows
    Illustration: Blair Golson

    Blockbuster Report: AT&T Allows NSA to Spy on Entire Internet

    This is the big one, folks. Wired News unearths internal AT&T documents that show how the telecom company, at the behest of the government, built “secret rooms” in cities across America that enable the NSA “to look at every individual message on the Internet and analyze exactly what people are doing.”

  • Story and AT&T internal documents
  • Wired News explains why it published the story

  • Posted on May 22, 2006 READ MORE


    Cheney Reportedly Pushed NSA to Spy Domestically

    In the wake of Sept. 11, the vice president argued that the NSA should intercept purely domestic calls and e-mails without warrants, reports the N.Y. Times.
    The NSA ultimately decided against the idea, but this report leaves no doubt about Cheney’s regard for civil liberties.

    Posted on May 13, 2006 READ MORE


    Verizon Hit By Two Multibillion-Dollar Lawsuits

    The telecom giant faces two suits—one for $20 billion, another for $5 billion—for handing over customers’ phone records to the NSA.

    Posted on May 13, 2006 READ MORE


    Low morale at the CIA
    Luckovich

    Morale Bottoms Out at the CIA

    Both Newsweek and The New York Times report that morale at the CIA is at an all-time low.

    Posted on May 8, 2006 READ MORE


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