Intelligence Agency News StoriesExcerpts of Key Intelligence Agency News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of intelligence agency news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
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.
WikiLeaks on Tuesday released a significant cache of documents that it said came from a high-security network inside the Central Intelligence Agency. WikiLeaks called the documents Vault 7, and they lay out the capabilities of the agency’s global covert hacking program. By the end of 2016, the C.I.A. program had 5,000 registered users, including government employees and contractors, [and] had produced more than a thousand hacking systems. The files have circulated among former United States government hackers and contractors in “an unauthorized manner, one of whom provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive,” WikiLeaks said. The software targeted by the hacking program included the most popular smartphone operating systems. Apple’s iPhone software ... was a particular target, including the development of several “zero day” exploits - a term for attacking coding flaws the company would not have known about. Google’s Android ... received even more attention. By 2016, the C.I.A. had 24 weaponized Android “zero day” software programs. The C.I.A. also targeted ... internet-connected computers and home and industrial devices running the Linux operating system. In 2010, the Obama administration promised to disclose newly discovered vulnerabilities to companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft. But the WikiLeaks documents indicate that the agency found security flaws, kept them secret and then used them for surveillance and intelligence gathering.
Note: See the wikileaks webpage summarizing this most important leak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
WikiLeaks has alleged that the CIA looked into vehicle interference methods that could potentially enable it to assassinate people without detection. According to the whistle-blowing organisation, the CIA explored the tactic in October 2014. It hasn’t included any more details about the alleged practice. WikiLeaks included the claim in its release announcing ‘Vault 7’, a huge batch of documents, which Julian Assange claims to account for the CIA’s “entire hacking capacity”. “As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks,” reads a passage in the release. “The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.” The CIA has also been accused of using malware and hacking tools to turn TVs into covert microphones and remotely break into smartphones. The latter, according to WikiLeaks, allowed it to bypass encryption on a number of popular messaging apps, including WhatsApp. WikiLeaks describes Vault 7 as “the largest intelligence publication in history” and says that the initial batch of 8,761 files is just the first in a series of releases.
Note: See the wikileaks webpage summarizing this most important leak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
President Trump’s allegations that former President Barack Obama tapped his phone and his assertions that the bureaucracy is leaking secrets to discredit him are the latest signs of a White House preoccupation with a “deep state” working to thwart the Trump presidency. “A deep state [is] part of government or people outside of government that are literally controlling the direction of the country no matter who’s actually in charge, and probably engaging in murder and other corrupt practices,” [former National Security Council official Loren DeJonge] Schulman said. The deep state is a phrase often heard in countries where there is a history of military coups. Pakistan is Exhibit A: The deep state is often invoked in serious discussions about the role of the Pakistani military and its intelligence service. Wide swaths of the population see the unseen hand of the security services behind major political events and all kinds of everyday happenings, such as random traffic stops. The views are not without basis. “The deep state concept emerges in places where the army and the security apparatus creates boundaries within which the civilian political people are allowed to operate,” said Peter Feaver, a specialist in civil-military issues. “If they transgress those boundaries, then the deep state interferes to reorder things, often using military force. There are milder forms of it in healthier democracies,” Mr. Feaver said.
Note: A 2014 Boston Globe article suggests that US policy in the national security realm is made by "concealed institutions" rather than by elected officials. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.
Leaked court documents raise concerns that the murder of the Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres was an extrajudicial killing planned by military intelligence specialists linked to the country’s US–trained special forces. Cáceres was shot dead a year ago while supposedly under state protection after receiving death threats over her opposition to a hydroelectric dam. The murder of Cáceres, winner of the prestigious Goldman environmental prize in 2015, prompted international outcry and calls for the US to revoke military aid to Honduras, a key ally in its war on drugs. Eight men have been arrested in connection with the murder, including one serving and two retired military officers. Officials have denied state involvement in the activist’s murder, and downplayed the arrest of the serving officer Maj Mariano Díaz. But ... Díaz, a decorated special forces veteran, was appointed chief of army intelligence in 2015. Another suspect, Lt Douglas Giovanny Bustillo joined the military on the same day as Díaz. Díaz and Bustillo both received military training in the US. A third suspect, Sgt Henry Javier Hernández, was a former special forces sniper, who had worked under the direct command of Díaz. Last year, the Guardian reported that a former Honduran soldier said he had seen Cáceres’s name on a hitlist that was passed to US-trained units. Sgt Rodrigo Cruz said that two elite units were given lists featuring the names and photographs of activists – and ordered to eliminate each target.
Note: The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas, reportedly graduated more than 500 human rights abusers. The identities of many other US-trained troops operating in other countries remain hidden by US courts. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Juan Pablo Escobar, the son of the most dangerous criminal in the history of Colombia, Pablo Escobar, has written a new book on the life and death of his father in which he said that the drug trafficker worked for the CIA. "In my book, I recount the story of my father working for the CIA selling cocaine to finance the fight against communism in Central America. There are names like George Bush Sr. and many more," said Escobar. "The drug business is very different from what you might imagine. The CIA was buying control of the drug supply going into each country and making huge profits. My father was a cog in their global drug trafficking network. When he no longer served them, they had him killed," said Juan Pablo Escobar. Remember that Bush was chief of the CIA in the administration of Richard Nixon. In his book Pablo Escobar Infraganti, the son of Escobar, known until 2009 by the name of Juan Sebastián Marroquín, reveals the corruption stories that made his father so "successful," despite the violence in which he immersed Colombia. Juan Pablo Escobar rejected the idea of glamorizing the drug trafficking business as portrayed in series like Narcos, of Netflix, which deal with the lives of the drug dealers and hitmen that worked for his father. "It is not true that a drug kingpin has riches, girls and power. The more power my father had, the poorer he lived, " he said.
Note: This article is in Spanish on the msn.com website at the link above, yet the English major media is completely ignoring it, including MSN, which has no English version of the article. For more, read this article. For excellent evidence of CIA involvement in drug running, see what two top journalists have written. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Department of Justice proudly announced the first FBI terror arrest of the Trump administration on Tuesday: an elaborate sting operation that snared a 25-year-old Missouri man who had no terrorism contacts besides the two undercover FBI agents who paid him to buy hardware supplies they said was for a bomb - and who at one point pulled a knife on him and threatened his family. Robert Lorenzo Hester of Columbia, Missouri, didn’t have the $20 he needed to buy the 9-volt batteries, duct tape, and roofing nails his new FBI friends wanted him to get, so they gave him the money. The agents noted in a criminal complaint that Hester, who at one point brought his two small children to a meeting because he didn’t have child care, continued smoking marijuana despite professing to be a devout Muslim. But according to the DOJ press release, Hester had plans to conduct an “ISIS-sponsored terrorist attack” on President’s Day that would have resulted in mass casualties had it succeeded. News reports breathlessly echoed the government’s depiction of Hester as a foiled would-be terrorist. But the only contact Hester had with ISIS was with the two undercover agents. There appears to be little to suggest that [Hester] had the wherewithal or capacity to carry out a terrorist attack. His case is similar to many others in which individuals in financial, legal, or psychological distress have been befriended by undercover FBI agents or government informants and coaxed into developing a terrorist plot.
Note: The FBI has been stepping up its use of stings in ISIS cases. Read how an FBI mole posing as a potential lover recently convinced a man to become a terrorist. If terrorism is such a grave threat in the US, why does the FBI have to manufacture "terrorist" plots and then exaggerate its anti-terrorism success?
Last week, Trump blocked Rex Tillerson from hiring Elliott Abrams as his deputy at the State Department after someone brought to his attention critical comments he had made during the campaign. That happened despite a job interview that had gone well. Last night, Robert Harward turned down Trump’s offer to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser. One key factor in Harward's decision to turn down the job was that he couldn't get a guarantee that he could select his own staff. Specifically ... Harward wanted commitments that the National Security Council would be fully in charge of security matters, not Trump's political advisers. Just yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s enforcers at the State Department laid off staff at Foggy Bottom while the secretary traveled in Europe. Much of seventh-floor staff, who work for the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and the Counselor offices, were told ... that their services were no longer needed. These staffers in particular are often the conduit between the secretary’s office to the country bureaus, where the regional expertise is centered. Inside the State Department, some officials fear that this is a politically-minded purge that cuts out much-needed expertise from the policy-making, rather than simply reorganizing the bureaucracy. Ambassador Kristie Kenney, the Counselor of the State Department and one of the last remaining senior officials, was [also] informed that she will be let go. Also noteworthy: Not a single State Department official was included in the White House meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week.
Note: While simple politics or government corruption may be responsible for this high-level reshuffling, this video interview with former CIA agent Robert David Steele suggests there is much more going on behind the scenes.
The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) has been aided by the continuing failure of the US Government to investigate the role of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 attacks and its support of jihadi movements such as al-Qaeda in the years since, says former Senator Bob Graham, the co-chairman of the official inquiry into 9/11. Senator Graham, who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that successive administrations in Washington had turned a blind eye to Saudi support for Sunni extremists. He added: “I believe that the failure to shine a full light on Saudi actions and particularly its involvement in 9/11 has contributed to the Saudi ability to continue to engage in actions that are damaging to the US – and in particular their support for Isis.” Senator Graham does not suggest that the Saudis are directly running Isis, but that their support for Sunni extremists in Iraq and Syria opened the door to jihadis including Isis. Similar points were made by Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, and MI6, who said ... that rulers of the Kingdom tended to oppose jihadis at home as enemies of the House of Saud, but promote them abroad in the interests of Saudi foreign policy. The US and other Western governments have yet to explain why their “war on terror” has so demonstrably failed with the rise of Isis, but tolerance of Saudi complicity in 9/11 will surely be part of the answer.
Note: Explore solid, verifiable evidence that rogue elements in the US government may have been involved in the creation of Isis. By 2009, US officials were aware that Saudi Arabia was funding ISIS. Saudi officials have long spent lavishly on charming American policymakers and journalists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing terrorism news articles from reliable major media sources.
The FBI is investigating political activists campaigning against the Dakota Access pipeline, diverting agents charged with preventing terrorist attacks to instead focus their attention on indigenous activists and environmentalists. Officers within the FBI’s joint terrorism taskforce have attempted to contact at least three people tied to the Standing Rock “water protector” movement in North Dakota. “The idea that the government would attempt to construe this indigenous-led non-violent movement into some kind of domestic terrorism investigation is unfathomable to me,” said Lauren Regan, a civil rights attorney. “It’s outrageous, it’s unwarranted … and it’s unconstitutional.” Regan ... said she learned of three cases in which officers with the taskforce, known as the JTTF, tried to talk to activists in person. She described the encounters as attempted “knocks and talks”, meaning law enforcement showed up at people’s doors without a subpoena or warrant and tried to get them to voluntarily cooperate with an interview. The three individuals ... asserted their fifth amendment rights and did not respond to the officers, according to Regan. All three contacts were made in recent weeks after Trump’s inauguration. Trump, a former investor in Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based firm behind the pipeline, took executive action in his first week in office to expedite the project. On Wednesday, workers began drilling to complete the pipeline.
Note: The FBI has a long history of violating activists' rights. The 2011 National Defense Authorization Bill broadened the definition of "supporter of terrorism" to include peaceful activists, authors, academics and even journalists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
The dozens of American diplomats taken hostage by revolutionary students who seized the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1979 might have had some secret company during their 15-month captivity: U.S. intelligence agencies had a squad of military-trained psychics using ESP to watch them, according to declassified documents in a newly available CIA database. In an operation code-named Grill Flame, half a dozen psychics ... on more than 200 occasions tried to peer through the ether to see where the hostages were being held, how closely they were guarded and the state of their health. Whether the psychics provided any useful intelligence was the subject of a debate among intelligence officials as heated as it was secret. The debate continues today. “The stuff that the CIA has declassified is garbage,” one of the Grill Flame psychics, Joseph McMoneagle, told the Miami Herald. “They haven’t declassified any of the stuff that worked.” Agreed Edwin May, a physicist who oversaw parapsychology research for government intelligence agencies for 20 years: “The psychics were able to tell, in some cases, where the hostages were moved to. They were able to see the degree of their health.” Operation Grill Flame was just one part of a broader U.S. intelligence project involving psychics and ESP that continued for 20 years. It went through as many as 10 different code names as its management shifted from agency to agency ... and carried out 26,000 telepathic forays by 227 psychics before the government shut it down in 1995.
Note: Read more on McMoneagle's work as a psychic for the US military. For more excellent, well resourced material on remote viewing and why the intelligence community continues to deny its successes, see this webpage.
Investigators pursuing what they believe to be the largest case of mishandling classified documents in United States history have found that the huge trove of stolen documents in the possession of a National Security Agency contractor included top-secret N.S.A. hacking tools that two months ago were offered for sale on the internet. They have been hunting for electronic clues that could link those cybertools - computer code posted online for auction by an anonymous group calling itself the Shadow Brokers - to the home computers of the contractor, Harold T. Martin III, who was arrested in late August. But so far, the investigators have been frustrated in their attempt to prove that Mr. Martin deliberately leaked or sold the hacking tools. Mr. Martin ... has insisted that he got in the habit of taking material home so he could improve his skills and be better at his job. The material the F.B.I. found in his possession added up to “many terabytes” of information ... which would make it by far the largest unauthorized leak of classified material from the classified sector. That volume dwarfs the hundreds of thousands of N.S.A. documents taken by Edward J. Snowden. [Mr. Martin] long held a high-level clearance and for a time worked with the N.S.A.’s premier hacking unit, called Tailored Access Operations, which breaks into the computer networks of foreign countries and which developed the hacking tools.
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. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
The problem of racial bias among police [has] been a concern of the FBI for at least a decade. 10 years ago ... the FBI warned of the potential consequences - including bias - of white supremacist groups infiltrating local and state law enforcement, indicating it was a significant threat to national security. In the 2006 bulletin, the FBI detailed the threat of white nationalists and skinheads infiltrating police in order to disrupt investigations against fellow members and recruit other supremacists. The bulletin was released during a period of scandal for many law enforcement agencies throughout the country, including a neo-Nazi gang formed by members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Similar investigations revealed officers and entire agencies with hate group ties in Illinois, Ohio and Texas. Much of the bulletin has been redacted, but in it, the FBI ... warned of “ghost skins,” hate group members who don’t overtly display their beliefs. “At least one white supremacist group has reportedly encouraged ghost skins to seek positions in law enforcement for the capability of alerting skinhead crews of pending investigative action against them,” the report read. Neither the FBI nor state and local law enforcement agencies have established systems for vetting personnel for potential supremacist links. That task is left primarily to everyday citizens and nonprofit organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of few that tracks the growing number of hate groups in America.
Using loopholes it has kept secret for years, the FBI can in certain circumstances bypass its own rules in order to send undercover agents or informants into political and religious organizations, as well as schools, clubs, and businesses. If the FBI had its way, the infiltration loopholes would still be secret. They are detailed in a mammoth document obtained by The Intercept, an uncensored version of ... the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, or DIOG. If an undercover agent wants to pose as a university student and take classes, or if an FBI handler wants to tell an informant to attend religious services - two examples straight out of the rulebook - he or she must obtain a supervisor’s approval and attest both to the operation’s importance and to its compliance with constitutional safeguards. But all those rules go out the window if an agent decides the group is “illegitimate” or an informant spies on the group of his or her own accord. Civil rights groups ... worry that the FBI has made use of precisely these kinds of loopholes, silently undermining cherished freedoms enshrined after a dark chapter of FBI history: the COINTELPRO program in the 1950s and ’60s, when the FBI spied on, harassed, and tried to discredit leftists, civil rights leaders, and anti-war protestors. The exposure of COINTELPRO led to a famous Senate investigation and to institutional reform. The DIOG, despite being hundreds of pages of dense bureaucracy, actually documents a loosening of the standards enacted to rein in the FBI after COINTELPRO and other scandals ... after the 9/11 attacks.
Note: Read a detailed essay on the FBI's COINTELPRO program from the well-researched online book Lifting the Veil. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
About 13 million pages of declassified documents from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have been released online. Among the more unusual records are documents from the Stargate Project, which dealt with psychic powers and extrasensory perception. Those include records of testing on celebrity psychic Uri Geller in 1973. Memos detail how Mr Geller was able to partly replicate pictures drawn in another room with varying - but sometimes precise - accuracy, leading the researchers to write that he "demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner". Other unusual records include a collection of reports on flying saucers. While much of the information has been technically publicly available since the mid-1990s, it has been very difficult to access. The records were only available on four physical computers ... at the National Archives in Maryland. A non-profit freedom of information group, MuckRock, sued the CIA to force it to upload the collection. At the same time, journalist Mike Best crowd-funded more than $15,000 to visit the archives to print out and then publicly upload the records, one by one. "By printing out and scanning the documents at CIA expense, I was able to begin making them freely available to the public and to give the agency a financial incentive to simply put the database online," Best wrote.
Note: The entire declassified archive of the Stargate Project is now available on the CIA Library website. Explore a treasure trove of excellent resources on remote viewing. For decades, officials denied the existence of remote viewing programs and UFO investigations. What other intelligence agency lies will be exposed as more information like this comes to light?
The announcement by the Justice Department’s inspector general that his office will look into FBI Director James B. Comey’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails reopens painful questions about the 2016 election, but it is also welcome news. The investigation will address allegations that Comey violated established Justice Department and FBI policies and procedures in his July 5, 2016, public announcement concerning the Hillary Clinton email investigation. And it will explore allegations that Comey’s Oct. 28 and Nov. 6 letters to Congress, which jolted the presidential election ... were improper. In addition to looking into the actions of the FBI director regarding the email investigation, the probe will look into whether the FBI’s deputy director should have recused himself from the investigation because of his wife’s political involvement; whether a high-ranking Justice Department official or others improperly disclosed non-public information to both the Clinton and Trump campaigns; and whether the timing of the FBI’s election eve Freedom of Information Act disclosures relating to Bill Clinton’s 2001 pardon of Marc Rich was based on inappropriate considerations. This investigation has bipartisan support. It was requested by the chairman and ranking members of multiple congressional oversight committees. Federal inspectors general, who do not leave with the change of administrations ... are the only political appointees whom the law requires be selected “without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of integrity.”
Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who investigated Donald Trump’s alleged Kremlin links, was so worried by what he was discovering that at the end he was working without pay. Mr Steele also decided to pass on information to both British and American intelligence officials after concluding that such material should not just be in the hands of political opponents of Mr Trump, who had hired his services, but was a matter of national security. However, say security sources, Mr Steele became increasingly frustrated that the FBI was failing to take action on the intelligence. He came to believe there was a cover-up, that a cabal within the Bureau blocked a thorough inquiry into Mr Trump. A colleague of Mr Steele in Washington, Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who runs the firm Fusion GPS, felt the same way. Fusion GPS had been hired by Republican opponents of Mr Trump in September 2015. In June 2016 Mr Steele came on the team. In July, Mr Trump won the Republican nomination and the Democrats became new employers of Mr Steele and Fusion GPS. By September ... Mr Steele [had] compiled a set of his memos into one document and passed it to his contacts at the FBI. But there seemed to be little progress in a proper inquiry into Mr Trump. The Bureau, instead, seemed to be devoting their resources in the pursuit of Hillary Clinton’s email transgressions. The New York office, in particular, appeared to be on a crusade against Ms Clinton.
Note: For an important viewpoint on the real complexities going on with recent reporting on Trump links to Russia, CIA involvement in Syria, and media manipulations, don't miss this provocative article by Glenn Greenwald and this interview he gave to Fox News. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the manipulation of public perception.
For months, the CIA, with unprecedented clarity, overtly threw its weight behind Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. In August, former acting CIA Director Michael Morell announced his endorsement of Clinton in the New York Times and claimed that “Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.” The CIA and NSA director under George W. Bush, Gen. Michael Hayden, also endorsed Clinton and went to the Washington Post to warn, in the week before the election, that “Donald Trump really does sound a lot like Vladimir Putin.” It is not hard to understand why the CIA preferred Clinton over Trump. Clinton was critical of Obama for restraining the CIA’s proxy war in Syria and was eager to expand that war. Clinton clearly wanted a harder line than Obama took against the CIA’s long-standing foes in Moscow. In general, Clinton defended and intended to extend the decadeslong international military order on which the CIA and Pentagon’s preeminence depends, while Trump - through a still-uncertain mix of instability and extremist conviction - posed a threat to it. The claims about Russia’s interference in U.S. elections and ties to Trump should be fully investigated. But until then, assertions that are unaccompanied by evidence and disseminated anonymously should be treated with the utmost skepticism. Venerating the intelligence community ... and equating its dark and dirty assertions [with] Truth ... cannot possibly achieve any good and is already doing much harm.
Note: For an important viewpoint on the real complexities going on with recent reporting on Trump links to Russia, CIA involvement in Syria, and media manipulations, don't miss the above provocative article by Glenn Greenwald and this interview he gave to Fox News.
The Obama administration on Thursday announced new rules that will let the NSA share vast amounts of private data gathered without warrant, court orders or congressional authorization with 16 other agencies, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security. The new rules allow ... those agencies to sift through raw data collected under a broad, Reagan-era executive order that gives the NSA virtually unlimited authority to intercept communications abroad. Previously, NSA analysts would filter out information they deemed irrelevant and mask the names of innocent Americans before passing it along. The last-minute adoption of the procedures is one of many examples of the Obama administration making new executive powers established by the Bush administration permanent, on the assumption that the executive branch could be trusted to police itself. Executive Order 12333 ... serves as authorization for the NSA’s most massive surveillance programs. In 2014, a former state department official described NSA surveillance under 12333 as a “universe of collection and storage” beyond what Congress has authorized. This massive database inevitably includes vast amount of American’s communications — swept up when they speak to people abroad, when they go abroad themselves, or even if their domestic communications are simply routed abroad. That’s why access was previously limited to data that had already been screened to remove unrelated information and information identifying U.S. persons.
Note: For an important viewpoint on the real complexities going on with recent reporting on Trump links to Russia, CIA involvement in Syria, and media manipulations, don't miss this provocative article by Glenn Greenwald and this interview he gave to Fox News. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
We might already be living through the first world cyberwar – it’s just that we haven’t acknowledged or named it yet. What might a timeline of that war look like? Well, 2007 seems like a good bet as a starting point – with a concerted series of cyber-attacks on Estonia. In 2008 there were events that a historian might weave into a narrative of a global cyberwar, when several underwater internet cables were cut during the course of the year, interrupting internet communication and particularly affecting the Middle East. In 2010 the Stuxnet worm was used to attack Iran’s nuclear program. Another event from 2010, the WikiLeaks American embassy cables release ... would be irresistible for a historian to refer to in this context. One of the things that makes the first world cyberwar different from conventional warfare [is] the mix of nation states being involved with pressure groups, whistleblowers and hackers. Historians will be unable to ignore ... the 2016 US election campaign being influenced by alleged hacked and leaked emails. What reason is there to suppose that these events might eventually be grouped together as a single world cyberwar by historians? It is the idea that hostilities might formally come to an end. You can envisage a scenario where Russia, China and the US can see a mutual benefit in de-escalating cyber-attacks between the three of them.
Note: A 2007 New York Times article describes the formation of the Air Force Cyberspace Command to arm the US military in anticipation of widespread computer-based warfare. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.