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Intelligence Agency Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Intelligence Agency Media Articles in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important intelligence agency articles reported in the media suggesting a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These intelligence agency articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


US quietly publishes once-expunged papers on 1953 Iran coup
2017-06-29, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-quietly-publishes-expunged-p...

Once expunged from official State Department history, the U.S.-backed 1953 coup in Iran and what led up to it can be glimpsed in documents that the department has quietly published. The operation ultimately pushed the country toward its Islamic Revolution and hostility with the West. The CIA's role in the coup, which toppled Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh and cemented the control of the shah, was well known when the State Department offered its first compendium on the era in 1989. But any trace of American involvement in the putsch had been wiped from the report, causing historians to call it a fraud. The 1,007-page report [released this month] shows U.S. officials discussing a coup up to a year before it took place. The CIA at one point "stockpiled enough arms and demolition material to support a 10,000-man guerrilla organization for six months" and paid out $5.3 million for bribes and other costs, which would be equivalent to $48 million today. One CIA document [states] that "several leading members of these (Iranian) security services are paid agents of this organization." The CIA also described hoping to use "powerfully influential clergy" in Shiite Iran to back the coup. To this day, Iran's clerical leaders portray the U.S. as a hostile foreign power bent on subverting and overthrowing its government. As President Dwight Eisenhower wrote ... in 1953, if knowledge of the coup became public, "We would not only be embarrassed in that region, but our chances to do anything of like nature in the future would almost totally disappear."

Note: The complete collection of State Department documents on this CIA-backed coup is available here. More recently, US policy reportedly fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Hacks Raise Fear Over N.S.A.’s Hold on Cyberweapons
2017-06-28, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/28/technology/ransomware-nsa-hacking-tools.html

Twice in the past month, National Security Agency cyberweapons stolen from its arsenal have been turned against two very different partners of the United States — Britain and Ukraine. The N.S.A. has [not acknowledged] its role in developing the weapons. White House officials have deflected many questions ... by arguing that the focus should be on the attackers themselves, not the manufacturer of their weapons. The silence is wearing thin for victims of the assaults, as a series of escalating attacks using N.S.A. cyberweapons have hit hospitals, a nuclear site and American businesses. There is growing concern that United States intelligence agencies have rushed to create digital weapons that they cannot keep safe from adversaries or disable once they fall into the wrong hands. On Wednesday, the calls for the agency to address its role in the latest attacks grew louder. Representative Ted Lieu ... who serves on the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees, urged the N.S.A. to help stop the attacks and to stop hoarding knowledge of the computer vulnerabilities upon which these weapons rely. Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, said outright that the National Security Agency was the source of the “vulnerabilities” now wreaking havoc. For the American spy agency ... what is unfolding across the world amounts to a digital nightmare. It was as if the Air Force lost some of its most sophisticated missiles and discovered an adversary was launching them against American allies — yet refused to respond, or even to acknowledge that the missiles were built for American use.

Note: It was reported in 2014 that the NSA had developed specialized tools to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems. More recently, a large number of NSA hacking tools were put up for sale online. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


In Yemen's secret prisons, UAE tortures and US interrogates
2017-06-22, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-interrogates-detainees-yemen...

Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme - including the "grill," in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found. Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture. The secret prisons are inside military bases, ports, an airport, private villas and even a nightclub. Some detainees have been flown to an Emirati base across the Red Sea in Eritrea, according to Yemen Interior Minister Hussein Arab and others. Several U.S. defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the topic, told AP that American forces do participate in interrogations of detainees at locations in Yemen, provide questions for others to ask, and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati allies. They said U.S. senior military leaders were aware of allegations of torture at the prisons in Yemen, looked into them, but were satisfied that there had not been any abuse when U.S. forces were present. Inside war-torn Yemen, however ... nearly 2,000 men have disappeared into the clandestine prisons, a number so high that it has triggered near-weekly protests.

Note: Saudi Arabia's military campaign in Yemen has strong US military support, and flagrantly violates international law. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Homeland Security official: Russian government actors tried to hack election systems in 21 states
2017-06-21, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/homeland-security-offi...

People connected to the Russian government tried to hack election-related computer systems in 21 states. Samuel Liles, the Department of Homeland Security’s acting director of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis Cyber Division, said vote-tallying mechanisms were unaffected and that the hackers appeared to be scanning for vulnerabilities — which Liles likened to walking down the street and looking at homes to see who might be inside. Liles was testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. Officials in Arizona and Illinois had previously confirmed that hackers targeted their voter registration system. In a separate hearing ... former Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson testified that Russia’s meddling ... was “unprecedented, the scale and the scope of what we saw them doing.” He said the severity of Russia’s efforts persuaded him to sign onto an Oct. 7 statement publicly blaming the Kremlin for what had happened. “We needed to do it, and we needed to do it well before the election to inform American voters of what we saw,” Johnson said. FBI Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap ... said Russia for years has tried to influence U.S. elections but that the “scale” and “aggressiveness” of its efforts in 2016 made the attempts more significant.

Note: Many who follow elections closely have known and spread the word for years about serious vulnerabilities in US electronic voting, yet only now that Russia is involved is it getting widespread coverage. Do you really think the Russians are the only ones who have hacked US elections? Read an enlightening analysis of elections hacking in the US which raises many serious questions. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


Psychologists Open a Window on Brutal C.I.A. Interrogations
2017-06-21, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/20/us/cia-torture.html

Fifteen years after he helped devise the brutal interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects in secret C.I.A. prisons, John Bruce Jessen, a former military psychologist, expressed ambivalence about the program. He described himself and a fellow military psychologist, James Mitchell, as reluctant participants in using the techniques, some of which are widely viewed as torture. The two psychologists ... are defendants in the only lawsuit that may hold participants accountable for causing harm. Revelations about the C.I.A. practices ... led to an eventual ban on the techniques and a prohibition by the American Psychological Association against members’ participation in national security interrogations. The two psychologists argue that the C.I.A., for which they were contractors, controlled the program. But it is difficult to successfully sue agency officials because of government immunity. Under the agency’s direction, the two men ... proposed [and applied] the “enhanced interrogation” techniques. Their business received $81 million. When [the psychologists] wanted to end the waterboarding sessions as no longer useful, C.I.A. supervisors ... ordered them to continue. Dr. Mitchell said that the C.I.A. officials told them: “‘You guys have lost your spine.’ I think the word that was actually used is that you guys are pussies. There was going to be another attack in America and the blood of dead civilians are going to be on your hands.”

Note: Prior to condemning torture, some of the American Psychological Association’s top officials sought to curry favor with Pentagon officials by supporting the CIA's brutal interrogation methods. For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.


Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known
2017-06-13, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-13/russian-breach-of-39-s...

Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before [the recent] election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported. In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states. The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they took an unprecedented step -- complaining directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.” In October, two of the people said, the White House contacted the Kremlin on the back channel to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia’s role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict. The new details, buttressed by a classified National Security Agency document recently disclosed by the Intercept ... paint a worrisome picture for future elections: [This is] the newest portrayal of potentially deep vulnerabilities in the U.S.’s patchwork of voting technologies.

Note: Many who follow elections closely have known and spread the word for years about serious vulnerabilities in US electronic voting, yet only now that Russia is involved is it getting widespread coverage. Do you really think the Russians are the only ones who have hacked US elections? Read an enlightening analysis of elections hacking in the US which raises many serious questions. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


Fast and Furious hearing rips Holder, DOJ for deception in gun-running scandal
2017-06-07, Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/07/fast-and-furious-report-slams-hold...

Members of a congressional committee at a public hearing Wednesday blasted former President Barack Obama and his attorney general for allegedly covering up an investigation into the death of a Border Patrol agent killed as a result of a botched government gun-running project known as Operation Fast and Furious. The House Oversight Committee also Wednesday released a scathing, nearly 300-page report that found Holder’s Justice Department tried to hide the facts. Terry died in a gunfight. [His] death exposed Operation Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operation in which the federal government allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them as they were transported into Mexico. But the agency lost track of more than 1,400 of the 2,000 guns they allowed smugglers to buy. Two of those guns were found at the scene of Terry's killing. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, testified Wednesday in front of the committee, accusing DOJ and ATF officials of obstructing the investigation and working to silence ATF agents who informed the Senate of Fast and Furious. One of those silenced ATF agents, John Dodson, testified Wednesday that he remains “in a state of purgatory” since objecting to Fast and Furious and has been the subject of reprisals. Grassley's and Dodson's testimony reinforced findings of the report, which states that the Justice Department knew before Terry’s death that the ATF was “walking” firearms to Mexico and knew the day after the agent’s death that Fast and Furious guns were involved in the shootout -- despite denying these facts.

Note: The Obama administration invoked executive privilege in an unsuccessful attempt to cover this story up. Whistleblower John Dodson published a book on this scandal in 2013. The ATF tried and failed to silence him, then lied about the whole thing. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Who Won the Election? NSA Report Suggests Russia Might Have Hacked Voting System
2017-06-05, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/who-won-election-nsa-report-suggests-russia-might-hav...

Russian military intelligence attempted to cyber-attack a U.S. voting software supplier and more than 100 local election officials in the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election, The Intercept reported Monday. According to an NSA document ... Russian military intelligence cyber-attacked a U.S. voting software supplier, using information gained in that attack to “launch a voter registration-themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations. Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate actors … executed cyber espionage operations against a named U.S. company in August 2016, evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions,” the document states. The operation gave the hackers “persistent access” to the targeted computers, allowing them to “survey the victims for items of interest.” But Pamela Smith, president of election integrity watchdog Verified Voting, said the hacking might have kept some Americans from voting. “If someone has access to a state voter database, they can take malicious action by modifying or removing information,” she told The Intercept. “This could affect whether someone has the ability to cast a regular ballot or be required to cast a ‘provisional’ ballot — which ... may mean the voter has to jump through certain hoops such as proving their information to the election official before their eligibility is affirmed.”

Note: Why have those who set up our elections allowed private companies to develop software which can be hacked? For undeniable evidence our voting systems have not been safe for years, read summaries of these major media news articles.


Trump Administration Starts Returning Copies of C.I.A. Torture Report to Congress
2017-06-02, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/us/politics/cia-torture-report-trump.html?...

Senators, spies and a president spent years in a pitched battle over how the history is told of one of the most controversial chapters of America’s campaign against terrorism, the detention and interrogation of prisoners in secret C.I.A. jails. Congressional officials said on Friday that the [Trump] administration had begun returning to Congress copies of a 6,700-page Senate report from 2014 about the C.I.A. program. The move raises the possibility that most of the copies could be locked in Senate vaults indefinitely or even destroyed. The classified report [tells] the story of how ... the C.I.A. began capturing terrorism suspects and interrogating them ... beyond the reach of the American judicial and military legal systems. The central conclusion of the report is that the spy agency’s interrogation methods - including waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other kinds of torture - were far more brutal and less effective than the C.I.A. described to policy makers, Congress and the public. The Senate Intelligence Committee, which was run by Democrats when the executive summary was released, sent copies of the entire report to at least eight federal agencies, asking that they incorporate it into their records — a move that would have made the documents subject to requests under the Freedom of Information Act. The agencies all refused to add the report to their records, and instead kept their copies locked up, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union to sue the C.I.A. for access to the full report.

Note: See a revealing New York Times article listing seven key points from this torture report. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


FBI 'warned MI5 in January that Salman Abedi was planning terror attack in UK'
2017-05-28, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/fbi-warned-mi5-january-manches...

British intelligence agency MI5 was reportedly warned by its US counterpart that Salman Abedi was planning an attack on UK soil, three months before he blew himself up outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. FBI agents are said to have informed British officials that the 22-year-old was part of a North African Islamic State cell based in the north west of England that was plotting an attack in the UK. “In early 2017 the FBI told MI5 that Abedi belonged to a North African terror gang based in Manchester, which was looking for a political target in this country," a security source [said]. “The information came from the interception of his communications by US federal agents, who had been investigating Abedi since the middle of 2016, and from information unearthed in Libya, where his family was linked to terrorist groups. “Following this US tip-off, Abedi and other members of the gang were scrutinised by MI5. It was thought at the time that Abedi was planning to assassinate a political figure. But nothing came of this investigation and, tragically, he slipped down the pecking order of targets.” MI5 has faced questions over the fact that Abedi was on its radar but slipped through the net in order to carry out the attack that killed 22 people and seriously injured 64. Police have so far arrested 14 people on suspicion of terror offences in conjunction with the Manchester attack, two of whom have since been released.

Note: Read this revealing article for more evidence that the Manchester atrocity was possibly allowed to happen, or worse. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing terrorism news articles from reliable major media sources.


Federal Court Revives Wikimedia’s Challenge to N.S.A. Surveillance
2017-05-23, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/us/politics/nsa-surveillance-warrantless-w...

A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived a high-profile challenge to the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance of internet communications. The ruling ... increases the chances that the Supreme Court may someday scrutinize whether the N.S.A.’s so-called upstream system for internet surveillance complies with Fourth Amendment privacy rights. The ruling reversed a Federal District Court judge’s decision to throw out the case. The district judge had ruled that the plaintiffs - including the Wikimedia Foundation - lacked standing to sue because they could not prove that their messages had been intercepted. Because of how the internet works, surveillance of communications crossing network switches is different from traditional circuit-based phone wiretapping. While the government can target a specific phone call without touching anyone else’s communications, it cannot simply intercept a surveillance target’s email. Instead ... to find such emails it is necessary first to systematically copy data packets crossing a network switch and sift them in search of components from any messages involving a target. Documents provided by [Edward] Snowden and declassified by the government have shown that this system works through equipment installed at the facilities of companies, like AT&T, that [connect] the American internet to the rest of the world. Privacy advocates contend that the initial copying and searching of all those data packets ... violates Fourth Amendment protections against government search and seizure.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


With New Digital Tools, Even Nonexperts Can Wage Cyberattacks
2017-05-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/technology/hack-ransomware-scam-cyberattac...

A decade-old internet scourge called ransomware went mainstream on Friday when cybercriminals seized control of computers around the world, from the delivery giant FedEx in the United States to Britain’s public health system, universities in China and even Russia’s powerful Interior Ministry. Ransomware is nothing new. For years, there have been stories of individuals or companies horrified that they have been locked out of their computers and that the only way back in is to pay a ransom to someone, somewhere who has managed to take control. But computer criminals are discovering that ransomware is the most effective way to make money in the shortest amount of time. Friday’s attacks were a powerful escalation of earlier, much smaller episodes. Hackers exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft servers that was first discovered by the National Security Agency and then leaked online. It allowed the ransomware to spread [to] more than 70,000 organizations. There is even now a concept of “ransomware as a service” - a play on the Silicon Valley jargon “software as a service,” which describes the delivery of software over the internet. Now anyone can visit a web page, generate a ransomware file with the click of a mouse, encrypt someone’s systems and demand a ransom to restore access to the files. If the victim pays, the ransomware provider takes a cut of the payment. Ransomware criminals also have customer service lines that victims can call to get help paying a ransom.

Note: In 2014, it was reported that the NSA was developing tools to make it relatively easy to hack millions of computers at once. Two years later, a large collection of NSA hacking tools was leaked. Now, these tools are being used by criminals against people all over the world. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


The CIA has a long history of helping to kill leaders around the world
2017-05-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/05/cia-long-history-kill-leaders...

[The CIA] has since 1945 succeeded in deposing or killing a string of leaders, but was forced to cut back after a Senate investigation in the 1970s. Some of the most notorious of the CIA’s operations to kill world leaders were those targeting the late Cuban president, Fidel Castro. Attempts ranged from snipers to imaginative plots worthy of spy movie fantasies. But although the CIA attempts proved fruitless in the case of Castro, the US intelligence agency has ... succeeded in deposing or killing a string of leaders elsewhere around the world – either directly or, more often, using sympathetic local military, locally hired criminals or pliant dissidents. On Friday, [North Korea accused] the CIA and South Korea’s intelligence service of being behind an alleged recent assassination attempt on its leader Kim Jong-un. Such a claim cannot be dismissed as totally outlandish – given the long list of US involvement in coups and assassinations worldwide. The agency was forced to cut back on such killings after ... then president Gerald Ford signed in 1976 an executive order stating: “No employee of the United States government shall engage in, or conspire in, political assassination.” In spite of this, the US never totally abandoned the strategy, simply changing the terminology from assassination to targeted killings. A leaked document obtained by WikiLeaks and released earlier this year showed the CIA in October 2014 looking at hacking into car control systems, [potentially allowing] an agent to stage a car crash.

Note: Strong evidence suggests that courageous journalist Michael Hastings was killed when his car controls were hacked causing him to crash head on into a tree. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on verified or suspected assassinations from reliable major media sources.


What We Know About the CIA’s Midcentury Mind-Control Project
2017-04-13, Smithsonian Magazine
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-we-know-about-cias-midcentury-m...

In 1953, the then-Director of Central Intelligence officially approved project MKUltra. Originally intended to make sure the United States government kept up with presumed Soviet advances in mind-control technology ... MKUltra has gone down in history as a significant example of government abuse of human rights. The intent of the project was to study “the use of biological and chemical materials in altering human behavior,” according to ... official testimony. Under MKUltra, the CIA gave itself the authority to [experiment on] unwitting test subjects, like drug-addicted prisoners, marginalized sex workers and terminal cancer patients. “The covert testing programs resulted in massive abridgements of the rights of American citizens, sometimes with tragic consequences,” concluded a Senate hearing in 1975-76. MKUltra wasn’t one project, as the US Supreme Court wrote in a 1985 decision. It was 162 different secret projects that were indirectly financed by the CIA, but were “contracted out to various universities ... and similar institutions.” In all, at least 80 institutions and 185 researchers participated, but many didn’t know they were dealing with the CIA. Many of MKUltra’s records were destroyed. But 8,000 pages of records - mostly financial documents that were mistakenly not destroyed in 1973 - were found in 1977. Nobody ever answered for MKUltra. Two lawsuits related to the program reached the Supreme Court, [writes Melissa Blevins for Today I Found Out], “but both protected the government over citizen’s rights.”

Note: Unfortunately, MK-ULTRA is far from the only program to have used humans as guinea pigs in attempts to create more powerful mind control technologies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind control news articles from reliable major media sources.


'We are all entrepreneurs': Muhammad Yunus on changing the world, one microloan at a time
2017-03-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/mar/29/we-are-all-entre...

Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi economist, microfinancing pioneer and founder of the grassroots Grameen Bank, has not been resting on his laurels since wining the Nobel peace prize in 2006. The idea behind his multi award-winning idea of microcredit is that everyone is a natural entrepreneur. “Human beings are not born to work for anybody else,” he says. “For millions of years that we were on the planet, we never worked for anybody. We are go-getters. So this is our tradition. There are roughly 160 million people all over the world in microcredit, mostly women. And they have proven one very important thing: that we are all entrepreneurs. Illiterate rural women in the villages ... take tiny little loans - $30, $40 - and they turn themselves into successful entrepreneurs.” In the mid 70s, as a young economics professor, Yunus experimented with lending a mere $27 to 42 women in the village ... near his university. Banks would not lend to the poor ... and moneylenders charged extortionate rates. His experiment was a success, and he began to develop ... the Grameen Bank. The Grameen Bank today has nine million borrowers, 97% of them women. “They own the bank. It is a bank owned by poor women,” he says. “The repayment rate is 99.6%, and it has never fallen below that in our eight years of experience.” Part of his expansion into rich countries includes a program in the US: 19 branches in 11 cities, including eight in New York.

Note: Learn more about the inspiring microcredit movement helping to reduce inequality while securing financial returns for investors.


Facial recognition database used by FBI is out of control, House committee hears
2017-03-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/27/us-facial-recognition-data...

Approximately half of adult Americans’ photographs are stored in facial recognition databases that can be accessed by the FBI, without their knowledge or consent, in the hunt for suspected criminals. About 80% of photos in the FBI’s network are non-criminal entries, including pictures from driver’s licenses and passports. The algorithms used to identify matches are inaccurate about 15% of the time, and are more likely to misidentify black people than white people. These are just some of the damning facts presented at last week’s House oversight committee hearing, where politicians and privacy campaigners criticized the FBI and called for stricter regulation of facial recognition technology at a time when it is creeping into law enforcement and business. The FBI first launched its advanced biometric database ... in 2010, augmenting the old fingerprint database with further capabilities including facial recognition. The bureau did not inform the public ... nor did it publish a privacy impact assessment, required by law, for five years. The FBI made arrangements with 18 different states to gain access to their databases of driver’s license photos. Last year, the US government accountability office (GAO) analyzed the FBI’s use of facial recognition technology and found it to be lacking in accountability, accuracy and oversight. “It doesn’t know how often the system incorrectly identifies the wrong subject,” explained the GAO’s Diana Maurer. “Innocent people could bear the burden of being falsely accused.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


C.I.A. Developed Tools to Spy on Mac Computers, WikiLeaks Disclosure Shows
2017-03-23, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/23/technology/cia-spying-mac-computers-wikile...

The C.I.A. developed tools to spy on Mac computers by injecting software into the chips that control the computers’ fundamental operations, according to the latest cache of classified government documents published on Thursday by WikiLeaks. All of the surveillance tools that have been disclosed were designed to be installed on individual phones or computers. But the effects could be much wider. Cisco Systems, for example, warned customers this week that many of its popular routers, the backbone of computer networks, could be hacked using the C.I.A.’s techniques. Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has offered to share the precise software code used by the C.I.A.’s cyberweapons with the affected companies. But major tech companies have been reluctant to directly engage with him for fear of violating American laws. The spy software described in the latest documents was designed to be injected into a Mac’s firmware, a type of software preloaded in the computer’s chips. It would then act as a “listening post,” broadcasting the user’s activities to the C.I.A. whenever the machine was connected to the internet. Tools that operate at the chip level can hide their existence and avoid being wiped out by routine software updates. Under an agreement struck during the Obama administration, intelligence agencies were supposed to share their knowledge of most security vulnerabilities with tech companies. The C.I.A. documents suggest that some key vulnerabilities were kept secret.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


The Multibillion-Dollar U.S. Spy Agency You Haven’t Heard of
2017-03-20, Foreign Policy
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/20/the-multibillion-dollar-u-s-spy-agency-yo...

In a heavily protected military base some 15 miles south of Washington, D.C., sits the massive headquarters of a spy agency few know exists. The [National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or] NGA remains by far the most shadowy member of the Big Five spy agencies, which include the CIA and the National Security Agency. Despite its lack of name recognition, the NGA’s headquarters is the third-largest building in the Washington metropolitan area. The NGA is to pictures what the NSA is to voices. Its principal function is to analyze the billions of images and miles of video captured by drones ... and spy satellites. The agency has never been involved in domestic spy scandals. However, there’s reason to believe that this will change. In March 2016, the Pentagon released the results of an investigation initiated by the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General to examine military spy drones in the United States. The report ... revealed that the Pentagon used unarmed surveillance drones over American soil. The investigation also quoted from an Air Force law review article pointing out the growing concern that technology designed to spy on enemies abroad may soon be turned around to spy on citizens at home. In 2016, unbeknownst to many city officials, police in Baltimore began conducting persistent aerial surveillance using a system developed for military use in Iraq. Few civilians have any idea how advanced these military eye-in-the-sky drones have become.

Note: This article was written by former ABC News producer James Bamford, whose 2001 article on Operation Northwoods revealed that the top Pentagon generals signed off on top-secret plans which stated, "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." And showing the level of major media complicity, only ABC News reported on this. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Donald Trump gives CIA authority to conduct drone strikes: WSJ
2017-03-14, Sydney Morning Herald/Reuters
http://www.smh.com.au/world/donald-trump-gives-cia-authority-to-conduct-drone...

US President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency new authority to conduct drone attacks against suspected militants. The move would be a change from the policy of former President Barack Obama's administration of limiting the CIA's paramilitary role. The United States was the first to use unmanned aircraft fitted with missiles to kill militant suspects in the years after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. Strikes by missile-armed Predator and Reaper drones against overseas targets began under former President George W. Bush and were expanded by Obama. Critics of the targeted killing program question whether the strikes create more militants than they kill. They cite the spread of jihadist organisations and militant attacks throughout the world as evidence that targeted killings may be exacerbating the problem. In July, the US government accepted responsibility for inadvertently killing up to 116 civilians in strikes in countries where America is not at war.

Note: Drone strikes almost always miss their intended targets and reportedly create more terrorists than they kill. Casualties of war whose identities are unknown are frequently mis-reported to be "militants". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


The real shocker in the WikiLeaks scoop
2017-03-14, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-real-shocker-in-the-wikileaks-sco...

WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange’s revelation last week of the CIA’s arsenal of hacking tools had a misplaced tone of surprise. Some scary initial stories argued that the CIA could crack Signal and WhatsApp phone encryption, not to mention your toaster and television. But ... the hardest question here is whether the CIA and other government agencies have a responsibility to disclose to software vendors the holes they discover in computer code, so they can be fixed quickly. This may sound like a no-brainer. The problem is that there’s a global market for “zero-day” exploits (ones that are unknown on the day they’re used). U.S. intelligence agencies buy some of these exploits; so do other countries’ spy services, criminal gangs and the software vendors themselves. A recent report by the Rand Corp. [calculated that] there are about two dozen companies selling or renting exploits to the United States and its allies, with many of these contractors making between $1 million and $2.5 million annually. More than 200 zero-day exploits studied by Rand went undetected for an average of 6.9 years. Given this evidence, Rand argued, “some may conclude that stockpiling zero-days may be a reasonable option” to combat potential adversaries. But let’s be honest: The real shocker in the WikiLeaks scoop is the demonstration ... that the U.S. government can’t keep secrets. It makes little sense for the CIA to argue against disclosing its cyber-tricks to computer companies if this valuable information is going to get leaked ... anyway.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


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