Anonymous Hacks U.S. Department of Justice
Alex Fitzpatrick writes on Mashable:
Anonymous is taking credit for a confirmed breach of security at the U.S. Department of Justice, although the exact contents of the data bounty are not yet known.
“Today we are releasing 1.7 GB of data that used to belong to the United States Bureau of Justice, until now,” reads an Anonymous press release, referring to the Department of Justice. “Within the booty you may find lots of shiny things such as internal emails, and the entire database dump.”
The hacktivist collective has been known to make bold claims, but a Department of Justice spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters that Anonymous members did indeed access a server that hosts the Department’s statistical data, including cybersecurity records…
READ FULL ARTICLE AT DISINFO.COM
CIA Allowed to Sustain Cover-Up of the Full ‘Bay of Pigs’ History
More than year after the National Security Archive sued the CIA to declassify the full “Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation,” a U.S. District Court judge today sided with the Agency’s efforts to keep the last volume of the report secret in perpetuity. In her ruling, Judge Gladys Kessler accepted the CIA’s legal arguments that, because Volume V was a “draft” and never officially approved for inclusion in the Agency’s official history, it was exempt from declassification under the “deliberative process privilege” despite having been written over 30 years ago.
The National Security Archive called the decision “a regrettable blow to the right-to-know” and vowed to press the Obama administration to force the CIA to adhere to the President’s Executive Order 13526 that “no information shall remain classified indefinitely.”
The volume, titled “CIA’s Internal Investigations of the Bay of Pigs Operations,” was written by CIA historian Jack Pfeiffer in 1981. It forcefully critiqued the scathing investigative report written in the immediate aftermath of the paramilitary attack – by the CIA’s own Inspector General, Lyman Kirkpatrick – which held CIA planners fully responsible for the worst debacle in the Agency’s covert history. In court papers, CIA officials described Pfeiffer’s critique as “a polemic of recriminations against CIA officers who later criticized the operation.”
Osama bin Laden’s Personal Notes and Letters To Be Declassified on Thursday
This will be interesting to check out Thursday (but I guess the press has already gotten wind of what is in the documents). Osama bin Laden reads like a troubled CEO who was frustrated by the lack of new talent and struggling with a failing brand. Brian Bennett writes in the LA Times:
Osama bin Laden’s personal notes and letters, which were seized a year ago in the U.S. raid on his compound in Pakistan, show a leader removed from day-to-day operations of the terrorist organization he founded and increasingly frustrated with the new generation of managers who were rising in the ranks.
A declassified selection of the vast trove of material — large enough, officials say, to fill a college library — will be published online Thursday by the Combating Terrorism Center, a think tank at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
In correspondence with his senior leaders, Bin Laden lamented the inexperience and poor judgment shown by the rising crop of Al Qaeda leaders. He urged his followers to move out of the tribal areas of Pakistan and to areas that were far from the cameras and missiles of the CIA’s fleet of armed Predator drones, and he said Muslims around the world have “lost their trust” in Al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials who have read the documents.
Read More: LA Times.
‘CISPA: Patriot Act for the web’ – Internet activist
With the House of Representatives’ approval of the controversial CISPA bill, Internet users are worried about possible consequences. RT spoke to Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who said CISPA could be used to spy on people.
RT: Can you explain the difference between this legislation and the previous controversial bills aimed at combating piracy?
Aaron Swartz: The previous bills were about giving the government the power to censor the Internet. And this is more like a Patriot Act for the Internet. It sort of lets the government run roughshod over privacy protections and share personal data about you, take it from Facebook and Internet providers and use it without the normal privacy protections that are in the law.
RT: So as far as individuals are concerned, is it worse than the previous ones?
AS: Yes, it’s worse because it does allow the government to shut down websites for ‘national security’ reasons. It does have all the censorship problems the previous bill did. But it also goes much further and allows them to spy on people using the Internet, to get their personal data and e-mails. It’s an incredibly broad and dangerous bill.
READ FULL ARTICLE AT RT.COM
Ex-CIA Spy-in-Training Goes Public on Twitter
“I was with the CIA for about three and a half months before I was sent to their secret psychiatric prison in Northern Virginia. I was a clandestine service trainee in their program so I wasn’t officially a spy yet. I was training to be a spy,” says Lynnae Williams. Reports Eli Lake on the Daily Beast:
The Twitter feed belonging to Lynnae Williams at first glance looks like most Twitter feeds. There are tweets about what she is reading (Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Madame Bovary); tweets about politics (leans toward the Occupy movement); and tweets about food (tuna casserole, carrot-cake muffins).
But on closer inspection, the feed features something rare for Twitter and even the Internet: detailed disclosures about the CIA. On Tuesday for example, Williams tweeted, “The #Farm is #CIA’s training center near #Williamsburg, Virginia. I think it’s the Kisevalter Center or something.”
In other tweets, Williams, who in 2009 spent nearly four months training to be a CIA spy, details her own experiences with CIA case officers, psychiatrists, and the special security division of the agency that serves as the CIA’s police force. In short, Williams since late February has been disclosing details of her brief CIA career in 140 characters or less.
More on the Daily Beast
POSTED FROM DISINFORMATION
Internet Providers to Start Policing the Web July 12th
Some of the biggest Internet service providers in America plan to adopt policies that will punish customers for copyright infringement, and one of the top trade groups in the music biz announced this week that it could begin as soon as this summer.
The chief executive officer of the Recording Industry Association of America told an audience of publishers on Wednesday that a plan carved out last year to help thwart piracy is expected to prevail and be put in place by this summer. RIAA CEO Cary Sherman was one of the guest speakers among a New York panel this week and he confirmed that, at this rate, some of the most powerful Internet providers in America should have their new policies on the books by July 12, 2012.
Last year, Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Cablevision Systems and other Internet service providers proposed best practice recommendations that they suggested would help curb copyright crimes on the Web. The end result largely settled on consisted of a “graduate response” approach, a plan that would mean culprits could be issued a series of warnings for illegally downloading suspect material which, after a certain number of offenses, would lead to “mitigation measures,” connection speed throttling and termination of service.
“We anticipate that very few subscribers, after having received multiple alerts, will persist (or allow others to persist) in the content theft,” the Center for Copyright Information said in an official statement last summer as plans were first publicized. Now nearly a year after developments made by the big ISPs were first discussed, the RIAA’s Sherman says that online censorship sanctioned by corporate conglomerates such as Time Warner and Verizon are practically set in stone.
Read More: Russia Today
Homeland Security Manual Lists Government Key Words For Monitoring Social Media
Ever complain on Facebook that you were feeling “sick?” Told your friends to “watch” a certain TV show? Left a comment on a media website about government “pork?”
If you did any of those things, or tweeted about your recent vacation in “Mexico” or a shopping trip to “Target,” the Department of Homeland Security may have noticed.
In the latest revelation of how the federal government is monitoring social media and online news outlets, the Electronic Privacy Information Center has posted online a 2011 Department of Homeland Security manual that includes hundreds of key words (such as those above) and search terms used to detect possible terrorism, unfolding natural disasters and public health threats. The center, a privacy watchdog group, filed a Freedom of Information Act request and then sued to obtain the release of the documents.
The 39-page “Analyst’s Desktop Binder” used by the department’s National Operations Center includes no-brainer words like “”attack,” “epidemic” and “Al Qaeda” (with various spellings). But the list also includes words that can be interpreted as either menacing or innocent depending on the context, such as “exercise,” “drill,” “wave,” “initiative,” “relief” and “organization.”
READ FULL ARTICLE AT THE HUFFINGTON POST
Warning: This Site Contains Conspiracy Theories
I am sure this question posed by Evgeny Morozov on Slate, “Does Google have a responsibility to help stop the spread of 9/11 denialism, anti-vaccine activism, and other fringe beliefs?” will be quite provocative for readers of Disinformation. As Evgeny Morozov writes on Slate:
In its early days, the Web was often imagined as a global clearinghouse — a new type of library, with the sum total of human knowledge always at our fingertips. That much has happened — but with a twist: In addition to borrowing existing items from its vast collections, we, the patrons, could also deposit our own books, pamphlets and other scribbles — with no or little quality control.
Such democratization of information-gathering — when accompanied by smart institutional and technological arrangements — has been tremendously useful, giving us Wikipedia and Twitter. But it has also spawned thousands of sites that undermine scientific consensus, overturn well-established facts, and promote conspiracy theories. Meanwhile, the move toward social search may further insulate regular visitors to such sites; discovering even more links found by their equally paranoid friends will hardly enlighten them. Is it time for some kind of a quality control system?
READ MORE AT SLATE
Spy Firm Videos Show How to Hack WiFi, Skype and Email