Showing posts with label Spy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spy. Show all posts

July 18, 2017

The Russians 'Demand' U.S. Give Back The Property

 Russian diplomatic compound in Maryland
Russia is pressing demands that the US give it access to two diplomatic compounds seized in the US last year.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was unacceptable to set preconditions for returning the properties. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described the move as "daylight robbery".
In December the US expelled 35 Russian diplomats and shut the compounds over suspicions of meddling in US elections.
Russian and US officials are due to discuss the issue later on Monday.
US Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon is hosting Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Washington.
The meeting was meant to have been held in June in St Petersburg, but was cancelled after the US government added 38 individuals and organisations to its list of sanctions over Russian activity in Ukraine. Mr Peskov suggested that there was nothing to discuss.
"We consider it absolutely unacceptable to place conditions on the return of diplomatic property, we consider that it must be returned without any conditions and talking," he said.
Mr Lavrov said that this was not the way decent and well-brought-up people behaved.
"How can you seize property which is protected by a bilateral, inter-governmental, ratified document and, to return it, act according to the principle 'what is mine is mine, and what is yours we'll share'?" he said during a visit to Belarus.
Last week Russia said it was considering "specific measures" in retaliation, including the expulsion of 30 US diplomats and seizure of US state property.
Ex-President Barack Obama acted against Russia after US intelligence sources accused Russian state agents of hacking into Democratic Party computers to undermine Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. 

Killenworth compound at Glen Cove, Long Island, New York - 2016 photoImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe Long Island property is surrounded by trees

Which compounds were seized?

  • The US seized a Russian diplomatic property on Maryland's Eastern Shore - a sprawling 45-acre (18.2-hectare) retreat. The facility, acquired during the Cold War, was used by Russian diplomats for recreation, such as tennis and swimming. But it also had sophisticated communications, and US officials said it doubled as a spying outpost
  • The other diplomatic property is a New York mansion at Glen Cove, Long Island. It has 49 rooms and is similarly surrounded by woods. Like the Maryland mansion, its location is ideal for eavesdropping on US communications, US officials say
Luxury Russia resorts in US crosshairs 

President Donald Trump's team is under investigation over alleged Russian collusion during last year's presidential campaign. The Kremlin has denied interfering in the election.
The Obama sanctions came on top of existing Western sanctions imposed because of Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict. 
At the time Mr Putin refrained from tit-for-tat retaliation - unlike in previous diplomatic spats. Mr Trump had been elected to succeed President Obama just weeks before.
Russia says President Trump presented "no plan to resolve the crisis" when the issue was raised at the G20 meeting in Hamburg on 7 July. 
Russia would retaliate if no compromise was reached at the meeting between Mr Ryabkov and Mr Shannon, the Russian newspaper Izvestia reported.
The BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Moscow says Mr Trump is in a Catch-22 situation, cementing his image as a Russian stooge if he returns the properties and further complicating difficult relations with Russia if he does not.

June 23, 2017

Why Does Trump Wants to Give Back This Property to The Russians? Have they done something good lately?

This 45 acres of land in Maryland by Pioneer point was taken away from the Russians as retaliation for Putin's meddling in the Presidential election of 2016. They had it since 1972 and they loved it. It was comfortable but luxurious and it acted as both a bed and breakfast for Russian Intelligence and to monitor communications coming out of Washington DC.
We knew what they were doing but they bought it with American cash back in 1972 and the government would need good proof about any wrong doing. In the world of spies, there is usually no evidence of anything. They did find some stuff but the government isn't talking about it.

Taking this property away from the Russians is certainly not enough payback for what they did but it was something and this hurt them where they hated the most: their comfort. Like the Germans that took over France and lived in castles and beautiful estate houses, the Russians love the same trappings. After all is not like the Russian media is going to write about it like ours would.

The real question is why would the next President of the US after President Obama, the one the Russian wanted to become President of the US want to give the Russians this property back?
It makes no sense except that it does. It will take someone who shoots first and doesn't even ask questions later, like Trump. But to say he wants to give it back? 

1. First, Trump underestimated again why there are leaks and this was leaked out and then he had to respond to the media. There are so many leaks because the people around him are similar to him. That is why they were picked out in the first place. They hold alliance to themselves first, just like the boss. When they are not happy, they talk, they leak.

2. Some were taken by surprised that the residents of this community were putting pressure to the Trump Administration to bring them back. These people are Trump's supporters very well off,  the small voting block but with lots of say. So Why? People that have money always worry about not having enough. What if that investment goes south? or the economy? The Russians were very nice to that community. It saved them money and it increased property values.  From wine to paying for lighting, roads around that compound and the county. They were great neighbors. Who cares if they were spies right? No one is perfect. What everyone does behind close doors is their business, unless they are gay. Human nature is a curse we are all stuck with. Dignity only works for some.

So Trump wants to give it back because he wants to make Putin Happy!

3. Trump wants to make Putin happy, Why? There are too many answers for this and they are all speculation unless you are an intelligence agent with knowledge of this case. But this is clear, Trump won't even say that Putin and Russia messed with our election system. Why?  He won't say anything bad about him. Your guess is as good as mine and my guess is that Putin is got the goods on him. Trump is done so many awful things, immoral, unlawful and it doesn't stick to him, Why does he think whatever Putin is got is going to stick on him? Maybe it will stick to his family? ....

Still to give this property back like when He suggested to take down some sanctions, is something that is a slapped in the face to everyone who pays taxes and sees how much money we spend to built and maintain bombs at billions a shot and we hope we never get to use them to keep us safe from the Russians. But there is something that doesn't cost us anything but it bothers them a lot and we are going to give back it to them and then also bring back the spies that were spelled out.

Background on the story:

Among the wide-ranging measures, the White House announced that the State Department would be closing two Russian-owned compounds — one in Maryland and one in New York — that it says were used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes. It is also declaring 35 Russians “persona non grata” for their alleged role in intelligence operations.

How hidden were these alleged spy compounds? At least in the case of Maryland, the answer is simple: not very.

[U.S. takes action against Russia for election hacking]

The compound in Maryland sits on around 45 acres of land at Pioneer Point, a peninsula where the Corsica and Chester Rivers merge — around a 90-minute drive from downtown Washington, by the Eastern Shore town of Centreville in Queen Anne's County.

The site was purchased by the Soviet government in 1972 and became something of a resort for Soviets living in the United States. It is the former estate of John J. Raskob, a former executive for DuPont and General Motors perhaps best known as the builder of the Empire State Building. The Soviets later added to the estate by making a deal with the State Department, which received two properties in Moscow in return.

At the time of its purchase, there was some resistance to the sale of the building to the Soviets, with the local newspaper reporting there were “fears of nuclear submarines surfacing in the Chester River to pick up American secrets and defectors.”

[Why do so many people miss the Soviet Union?]

1969 photo of the Pioneer Point property near Centreville, Md. (Baltimore Sun)
But by 1974, the New York Times reported that many locals had been won over, with the help of dinner parties and gifts of vodka and caviar. “As far as neighbors are concerned you couldn't ask for better,” Joe Handley, a former estate manager for Raskob, told The Washington Post in 1979. “They don't bother anybody.”

A reporter from the local Star Democrat newspaper in Easton visited the site in 1987 — in large part because of the long-standing rumors that it was being used for espionage. The resulting article, also published in The Post, noted the tall chain-link fence outside the compound and the video cameras monitoring the gate, but also the lime-green bungalows, swimming pools, and numerous tennis courts.

“Tomorrow we have a game,” one tennis player identified as Yevgeny told the reporter. “We have a tournament with the International Monetary Fund. They have a beautiful team. But this year, God knows who will win.”

After the turmoil of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Pioneer Point was bought by the Russian Federation — at the time, the Associated Press reported its value was $3 million. Local residents told the AP that they didn't have any problems with the Russians who visited the compound.

''I live down the road from them. We fish and crab with them. There's usually one that speaks English for the group,'' a woman named as Bonnie Delph told the AP.

April 1, 2017

Verizon to Install Spyware on New Androids

Who'd have thought that just days after the house rolled back privacy protections for internet users, ISPs would take advantage? The EFF did, pointing out that Verizon has already announced that it will install spyware, in the form of the launcher AppFlash, across its users' Android devices in the coming weeks. AppFlash, as TechCrunch reports, will embed itself to the left of your home screen, offering details on local restaurants, movies or apps that you can download.

But the EFF spent a little time staring at AppFlash's privacy policy, where it's revealed that the software will vacuum up any and all of your private data. For instance, it'll snag your cell number, device type, operating system and the apps or services that you use. More crucially, the app will also harvest the details of everything installed on your device, your location and the contact details of everyone in your phonebook.

Verizon admits that the information will be shared within "the Verizon family of companies," including that of (Engadget parent) Aol. From there, the data will be used to "provide more relevant advertising within the AppFlash experiences and in other places." The other places being a euphemism for banner and display advertising all across the web.

So, if you're trying for a baby and you've got a fertility app on your phone, it's reasonable to expect plenty of banner ads for diapers and formula feeding. If you're doing something more private, like making your first steps out of the closet or dealing with a substance abuse issue -- and you've got a relevant app -- then Verizon's gonna know about it.

To be fair, Verizon justifies its stance by saying that it'll need some of this data in order to make on-demand services work. How, after all, can it seamlessly tell you local movie times and call you an Uber to the cinema if it doesn't know where you are? Not to mention that Google already snatches most of this information for its own purposes.

But, as the EFF points out, most of the Android devices on Verizon's network will now have a common app that hackers will be probing for holes. Should a nefarious type find such a vulnerability, then you can be sure that same personal data will be sold off to the highest bidder.

Update: Verizon has since sent the following statement to Engadget: "As we said earlier this week, we are testing AppFlash to make app discovery better for consumers. The test is on a single phone –- LG K20 V –- and you have to opt-in to use the app. Or, you can easily disable the app. Nobody is required to use it. Verizon is committed to your privacy. Visit to view our Privacy Policy."

Update 2: Following Verizon's statement, the EFF has actually taken the step of withdrawing its prior accusation of the cellular network's motives. The privacy body has pledged to investigate the matter further, but it looks as if it may have been a lot of fuss over what amounts to very little.

Update 3: Verizon has also posted a brief explanation on privacy in light of Congress deciding to roll back the FCC's privacy laws this week. "We have two programs that use web browsing data -- and neither of these programs involves selling customers' personal web browsing history," chief privacy officer Karen Zacharia said. "The Verizon Selects advertising program makes marketing to customers more personalized and useful -- using de-identified information to determine which customers fit into groups that advertisers are trying to reach."

*Verizon owns AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.

March 16, 2017

Vibrator Spying on Its Users Sued

Yes, even your vibrator might be spying on you. Maybe this is what Pres.Trump meant?
A sex toy company has agreed to pay $3.75 million for secretly collecting customers’ data while they were using its vibrators.
Under the agreement, We-Vibe will set aside about $3 million for people who downloaded and used an app that accompanied the vibrator and about $750,000 for customers who just bought its “smart vibrator” before Sept. 26, 2016. Those who controlled the toy with the We-Connect app will get up to $10,000 each, while those who just used the vibrator will get up to $199.
However, people will probably receive much less due to fees, administration costs, and the number of claims submitted.
The amount of the actual payment to Class members will depend on the number of claims submitted and the total amount available in the respective settlement funds after applicable notice and administration costs, the incentive award, and attorney fees have been paid.
The high-end vibrators are designed for couples, enabling partners to text and video chat on the app, as well as adjust and control the toy through Bluetooth. But what they didn’t know was that the Canadian company was tracking how they used their devices, including intimate details like the time and date, the vibration intensity, temperature, and pattern, court documents show.
We-Vibe’s app, We-Connect We-Vibe
The company, which has denied wrongdoing and liability, said it will destroy most of the information it collected.
A woman from Chicago, identified as N.P., sued Standard Innovation Corp., which owns We-Vibe, company back in September. She bought a Rave vibrator for $130 last May and frequently used the app, but said she was never notified We-Vibe was monitoring her. Another woman joined the complaint last month. They both claimed that the “highly offensive” secret data collection caused embarrassment and anxiety.
The women also say We-Vibe violated the Federal Wire Tap Act and privacy law, and made money at their expense.
“(N.P.) would never have purchased a We-Vibe had she known that in order to use its full functionality, (Standard Innovation) would monitor, collect and transmit her usage information through We-Connect,” the claim states.
About 300,000 people purchased We-Vibe devices covered by the settlement, and about 100,000 downloaded and used the app, according to court documents.
We-Vibe said in a statement to BuzzFeed News that it collected “certain analytical information to help us improve our products and the quality” of its app and that users could opt out of this.
The company has now agreed to clarify and be more transparent about its privacy notices and data collecting practices.
Going forward, customers no longer have to register, create an account, or share their personal information. They can also opt out of sharing anonymous app usage data, the company said, noting that they now have “new plain language privacy notices” that outline “how we collect and use data for the app to function and improve We-Vibe products.”

November 20, 2013

IKEA France Senior Execs Held Over Spying on Staff & Customers

IKEA France execs held over spying allegations

IKEA France execs held over spying allegations

Two senior executives at IKEA France were being held by police Tuesday in a continued investigation over allegations that the Swedish furniture company illegally spied on staff and customers, officials said.

Officials say senior executives of IKEA France are in police custody over allegations that they paid for access to secret police files to spy on employees and customers.
French officials close to the case said IKEA France CEO Stefan Vanoverbeke and its finance chief, Dariusz Rycher, were apprehended Monday and questioned for a second day Tuesday.
The officials were not authorized to speak publicly about the case. Under French law the men must be freed within 24 hour or formally charged.
The investigation into the spying at the French subsidiary of the Swedish furniture giant began in April 2012 when satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné published emails between IKEA’s Paris office and a security company Surete International.
The emails revealed that IKEA was seeking access to police STIC files, kept in a database with millions of names and personal information about crime perpetrators, victims and even witnesses.
IKEA allegedly asked for information on employees, including union members, and a customer suing the company. Two unions have since filed complaints against IKEA, accusing them of spying on hundreds of employees and customers over at least five years.
In response to the investigation, IKEA France suspended and later fired its risk management director, a former human resources director, a former financial director and a former managing director. The workers were not named.
The company has also instituted a code of conduct in response to the investigation.
A former paragon of good social policy, IKEA has faced several years of bad press.
In 2010, employees at 23 of their 26 stores in France went on strike in hopes of better pay. In 2012, IKEA was criticized for removing images of women and girls from the Saudi version of its catalogue. Then, in September 2013, a book on IKEA revealed a bitter family feud in which founder Ingvar Kamprad was forced to hand over billions of dollars to his sons.
   FRANCE 24

November 19, 2013

Australia Caught With Their Hands on the Secret Jar of Indonesia”s MP


Responding  to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s statement to Parliament that all governments gather information on each other.
Dr Natalegawa retorted: "I've got news for you. We don't do it."

Spies and friends

The spying revelations could not come at a worse time for the Coalition Government, writes Asia editor Catherine McGrath.
Indonesian MP Tantowi Yahya, a prominent member of the Indonesian parliamentary foreign affairs commission, agrees, telling Lateline that spying amounted to Australia treating Indonesia like an enemy.
"We don't expect to be treated like this, to be treated like enemies or countries that ... bring threat to your national interests," he said.
He continued: "We never consider Australia as a threat, and I would think that Australia would think the same way towards Indonesia. I mean, we have been good neighbours for years, for so long, there is no information that we cannot get from both sides.
"[If] Australia needs certain information from us, we are more than happy to supply [it]. But doing such wiretapping is something that totally unacceptable between the two countries who have been so good and so friendly in the past."
Dr Natalegawa says he has ordered the Indonesian ambassador in Canberra to return home to Jakarta as soon as possible.
"It's impossible for an ambassador in foreign country to do their duty in the midst of an unfortunate situation like this," he said.
We don't expect to be treated like this, to be treated like enemies or countries that ... bring threat to your national interests.
Indonesian MP Tantowi Yahya
"The summoning of the ambassador is not considered a light step, but it's a minimum step we can do to consolidate situation, and to show our firm but measured act."
Indonesia's powerful coordinating minister for legal, political and security affairs, Djoko Suyanto, is reportedly launching a review into all areas of cooperation between Canberra and Jakarta.
The ministry says it will contact Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop to let her know the issue will cause problems for the relationship. Indonesia is demanding Australia make an  fficial and public explanation" and "commit not to repeat such actions".
The revelations came amid already heightened diplomatic tension over claims that the Australian embassy in Jakarta was involved in general spying on Indonesia.
This is an unfriendly, unbecoming act between strategic partners. This hasn't been a good day in the relationship between Indonesia and Australia.
Marty Natalegawa
Indonesian presidential spokesman Teuku Faizasyah had earlier called on Australia to provide answers.
“The Australian Government urgently needs to clarify on this news, to avoid further damage," he said on Twitter.
"The damage has been done and now trust must be rebuilt."

Secret documents show Australia targeted highest-ranking politicians

The top-secret documents are from Australia's electronic intelligence agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, now called the Australian Signals Directorate.
The surveillance targets also included vice-president Boediono, former vice-president Yussuf Kalla, the foreign affairs spokesman, the security minister, and the information minister.
A number of intercept options are listed and a recommendation is made to choose one of them and to apply it to a target – in this case the Indonesian leadership.
The document shows how DSD monitored the call activity on Mr Yudhoyono’s Nokia handset for 15 days in August 2009.
  "One page is titled "Indonesian President voice events" and provides what is called a CDR view. CDR are call data records; it can monitor who is called and who is calling but not necessarily what was said.
Another page shows that on at least one occasion Australian intelligence did attempt to listen in to one of Mr Yudhoyono's conversations.
But according to the notes on the bottom of the page, the call was less than one minute long and therefore did not last long enough to be successfully tapped.
Another of the names on the surveillance list was Hatta Rajasa, who was state secretary at the time of the spying and is now Indonesia's coordinating minister for economics.
"When I was the state secretary there were talks that shouldn't be made public," he told journalists.
"We have our own transparency law on information and there is no need to tap. State secrets are protected by the law and it shouldn't be made public.
"If the tapping were true, you know very well that it isn't good, it is not right. As I said, we need to clarify with the coordinating minister for legal, political and security affairs and I must not overreact."
By Indonesia correspondent George Roberts of

November 14, 2013

Spy Found Inside Duffel, Naked Decomposing. Finding’s : “An Accident”

Gareth Williams
Gareth Wyn Williams, the MI6 intelligence worker whose naked and decomposing body was found in August 2010 stuffed into a zipped and padlocked gym bag. Scotland Yard on Wednesday revised his suspected cause of death from "unlawful" killing to likely the result of an accident that occurred when he was alone.(Agence France-Presse / Getty Images / August 25, 2010)

Life is better than fiction. There we have a dead British spy in the conditions described above and whose diagnosis was changed from Foul play to an Accident. Now my dear reader let your imagination run wild because no matter how bad sand witty your thoughts might be I can’t believe that it will actually describe the truth of this event and other we just don’t  hear about.
Scotland Yard on Wednesday reversed a coroner's finding of foul play in the 2010 death of British spy Gareth Williams, concluding that an accident was likely responsible for the death of the code-breaker whose naked, decomposing body was found stuffed inside a zipped and padlocked gym bag.
London Metropolitan Police investigators had undertaken a review of evidence in the case 16 months ago, after initial restrictions on homicide detectives' access to details of Williams' intelligence work were lifted by the British secret service, MI6.
Deputy Asst. Commissioner Martin Hewitt told journalists in London that investigators only had access to Williams' work files and colleagues after the coroner's conclusion in April 2012 that his death was likely "criminally mediated."
"On balance, it is a more probable conclusion that there was no other person present when Gareth died," Hewitt said, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The body of the then-31-year-old intelligence operative, who at the time of his August 2010 death was on temporary duty in London from his listening post in Cheltenham, was found in the empty bathtub of his apartment after he failed to show up for work for a week.
In its account of the new cause-of-death report, the Telegraph noted that investigators had been able to interview 27 of Williams' MI6 colleagues and review the cases on which he was working only after the secret service conducted its own confidential probe.
"It is highly unusual for us to be able to go into those organizations and to have open access to personnel files, to vetting files and to all the other aspects of Gareth's work, which we have been given, and which allows us to draw the conclusion that I am convinced that Gareth's death was in no way related to his work either current or previously," Hewitt said.
The deputy commissioner conceded, however, that uncertainties remain and that a definitive ruling on Williams' cause of death may never be reached.
The revised assessment immediately prompted speculation that authorities were attempting to obscure some embarrassing or sensitive issue in the death.
The BBC quoted its internal affairs correspondent as saying the findings that Williams was likely alone when he died as a result of an accident "were likely to fuel theories of a successful cover up by the intelligence agencies."
The Daily Mirror's website posted "10 questions which are still unanswered more than three years after Gareth's death." The mysteries cited included why Williams' MI6 colleagues failed to inquire about his absence from work for a week, how the door to his apartment came to be locked from the outside after his death, whether the heat was turned on in the apartment to accelerate the body's decomposition and preclude certain forensics tests, and why there were no fingerprints found on the bathtub.
Sky News reported that two contortion experts working on the earlier inquest tried 400 times to lock themselves into a similar bag and failed. Shortly after the earlier probe ended, though, an army sergeant was able to demonstrate that it was possible to zip oneself into such a bag from the inside in the cramped position in which Williams' body was found, Sky reported.
Williams' family issued a statement after the revised cause-of-death report, saying the verdict of Medical Examiner Fiona Wilcox more "accurately reflects the circumstances of Gareth's death."
“We are naturally disappointed that it is still not possible to state with certainty how Gareth died and the fact that the circumstances of his death are still unknown adds to our grief," his family stated.

Adam Gonzalez Commenting on the writers column:

October 27, 2013

Should Russia’s Spy Resurgence Worry Europe?

As the fallout from the latest revelations over the surveillance activities of the US National Security Agency (NSA) tests diplomatic ties between Washington and allies including France and Germany, should Europe also be worried about a rise in Russian espionage?
French daily Le Figaro reported Friday that, according to intelligence experts and diplomats, Russia’s intelligence agencies have stepped up their activity under President Vladimir Putin to a level not seen since the height of the Cold War.
Russian intelligence is particularly active in the former Soviet republics, especially those with an eye to joining the EU or NATO, a diplomat posted in the region told the newspaper.
“In Georgia, officers of the [former] KGB have been placed in security structures,” said the diplomat. “In Ukraine and Belarus, the penetration of Russian intelligence services is very deep - local KGB are controlled by Moscow.”
But the effects of a reinvigorated Russian intelligence operation have also been felt further west. Indeed, in Brussels, home to the headquarters of NATO and the EU, officials from several eastern European countries, especially Hungary and Bulgaria, have recently been quietly removed because they were working for Russia, a European diplomat told Le Figaro.
Allegations of harassment and assassinations
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and with it the end of the KGB, Russia’s intelligence operations went through a period of dormancy.

But Putin, himself a former KGB officer, has sought to strengthen the organisation’s successor agencies, the Federal Security Service (FSB) and Foreign Intelligence service (SVR), since coming to power in 2000.
Recent years have also seen a number of high-profile cases of alleged Russian espionage activity in the West. These include the assassination of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned with polonium in London in 2006, as well as claims ofharassment by FSB operatives of foreign journalists and diplomats.
And just this week, the FBI opened an investigation into Yury Zaitsev, the head of a Russian government-run cultural exchange programme based in Washington, over allegations he tried to recruit young Americans as intelligence assets.
Russia taking inspiration from the NSA?
But it is in the area of electronic surveillance that Russia now seems to be focusing its espionage efforts.
"They have kept a real expertise in electronic eavesdropping," an unnamed intelligence expert told Le Figaro.
Russia already has its own version of the NSA’s PRISM surveillance programme, known as SORM, that allows intelligence services to monitor internet traffic but, as yet, does not require providers to record information
However, in the wake of the NSA revelations and Russia’s decision to grant NSA leaker Edward Snowden asylum, Russian authorities seem to have been inspired to emulate their American counterparts by further bolstering the country’s electronic surveillance operations.

Russian daily Kommersant reported earlier this week that under an order drafted by the Communications Ministry, internet providers would have to install equipment that would record and save all web traffic for at least 12 hours and grant the security services exclusive access to the data.
If implemented, the order would give the FSB access to stored data including phone numbers, IP addresses, account names, social network activity and e-mail addresses.
‘PRISM on steroids’
Furthermore, an investigation by two Russian journalists, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, in conjunction with the UK’s Guardian newspaper revealed earlier this month that the FSB is planning to launch an extensive surveillance operation at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The operation will provide security services with near total access to the electronic communications of both spectators and athletes at the Games.
Major amendments have been made to telephone and Wi-Fi networks in the region to allow for easier monitoring by SORM, the journalists’ investigation revealed.
Furthermore, SORM will be upgraded with a controversial technology known as deep packet inspection (DPI), which allows intelligence agencies to filter content by particular keywords.
Ron Deibert, a professor at the University of Toronto and director of Citizen Lab, which co-operated with the Sochi research, told the Guardian that the upgrades to SORM will see the surveillance programme resemble "PRISM on steroids”.
“The scope and scale of Russian surveillance are similar to the disclosures about the US programme,” he said.
By Sam Ball (text)

October 26, 2013

“France Also Snoops on US” } Ex French Spy Boss

Paris also snoops on US, says ex-French spy boss

Paris also snoops on US, says ex-French spy boss

Spying on allies is all in a day’s work, the former head of France’s domestic intelligence agency (pictured) said on Thursday, following reports that the US National Security Agency recorded millions of French phone calls.

France spies on the US just as the US spies on France, the former head of France’s counter-espionage and counter-terrorism agency said Friday, commenting on reports that the US National Security Agency (NSA) recorded millions of French telephone calls.
Bernard Squarcini, head of the Direction Centrale du Renseignement Intérieur (DCRI) intelligence service until last year, told French daily Le Figaro he was “astonished” when Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he was "deeply shocked" by the claims.
“I am amazed by such disconcerting naiveté,” he said in the interview. “You’d almost think our politicians don’t bother to read the reports they get from the intelligence services.”

On Monday, French daily Le Monde published a story based on leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, alleging that the NSA had recorded 70 million phone calls in France in a 30-day period from December 10 to January 8 this year.
‘Deep disapproval’
The following day French President Franços Hollande called his US counterpart Barack Obama to express "deep disapproval of these practices, which are unacceptable between friends and allies because they infringe on the privacy of French citizens".
But for Squarcini, who was questioned in 2011 over surveillance of journalists investigating alleged illegal campaign funding for former president Nicolas Sarkozy, spying on allies is all in a day’s work.
“The French intelligence services know full well that all countries, whether or not they are allies in the fight against terrorism, spy on each other all the time,” he said.
“The Americans spy on French commercial and industrial interests, and we do the same to them because it’s in the national interest to protect our companies.”
“There was nothing of any real surprise in this report,” he added. “No one is fooled.”
Spying on Merkel a ‘compliment’ to Germany
On Wednesday, it was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s turn to put in a call to the White House following reports that the US had snooped on her personal mobile phone.
But Merkel, and Germany, should look upon such intrusion as a “compliment”, former CIA operations officer Joseph Wippl told AFP.
"Chancellor Merkel is important. If the NSA was not surveying her communications, it was only because it was unable to do so," he said.
“How could the NSA not want to listen in on the person rated by Forbes as the second most powerful person in the world after President Obama?”

By Tony Todd

September 20, 2013

A Young,Lonesome, Gay US Airman-1983 Cold War- JeFF Carney Gave Away The Secrets

Jeff Carney in uniform and the Berlin Wall

Hundreds of spies betrayed their countries during the Cold War, often motivated by ideology, or financial reward. Jeff Carney was different - he was a lonely, gay US airman who dreamed of a new life in East Germany. Years later, he sees parallels between his story and that of Chelsea, formerly Bradley, Manning.
It was the middle of the night in April 1983, when Jeff Carney approached Checkpoint Charlie. His steps grew shaky and he began to sweat.
As he stepped across the painted white line that separated East and West Berlin, he thought he was safe. He thought he was going to live in the east. He couldn't have been more wrong.
East German border guards took him to a small bare room with a cheap desk, a couple of chairs and a German-English dictionary.
"My intent when I went over that white line that night was not in any way to become a spy. My intent was simply to get away," he says.

"My intent when I went over that white line that night was not in any way to become a spy. My intent was simply to get away," he says.
 "I requested to speak to representatives of the East German government and when they came to me they weren't just any representatives, they were the men in the leather jackets so to speak. They were spies."
This was not the reception he had expected. Carney was 19 and had just returned to his posting at Marienfelde in Berlin after a trip home.
His family's problems depressed him - he had joined the Air Force at the age of 17 just to get away - and he spent the evening drinking alone in Berlin, ending the night at one of the city's gay bars.
Carney also hated his job. He felt unwanted and resented the military's ban on homosexuality.
There was nothing ideological about his decision to defect - it was an impulsive move. He thought he would be welcomed with open arms and given a new home in the east.
"I was foolish enough to believe that these people might actually be interested in me as a person. We know today that that's not correct - I was only worth what I had access to," says Carney.
    The East Germans ordered him to go back to his job and become a spy. If he didn't, his commander would be informed where he had been that night.
"To say I was disappointed was an understatement," he says. In his newly published book, Against All Enemies, he writes that he had "sold his soul and now had to commit, for better or for worse".
So Carney's life as a spy began.
The US Air Force had hired him because of his language skills - his job was to listen to East German communications and translate what he heard. Although Carney did not hold a high rank, as a linguist he worked in an environment where sensitive information was discussed.
He smuggled classified documents out of the listening post in his boots and trousers giving them to his handler "Ralph", or leaving them in an ammunition box by a tree in the forest at Eiskeller, on the north-west edge of Berlin.
His contacts called him Uwe - and gave him a camera hidden in a can of Lipton Iced Tea to photograph military papers.
Although he handed secrets to the East German secret police, the Stasi, he argues that he did not betray the American people because "betraying your country and betraying your government are two different things".
He says he helped to maintain world peace and that he never handed over anything that would harm the US.
Pages from Carney's book, Against All Enemies, showing blacked out text

The US National Security Agency has blacked out some parts of Carney's book
One day he heard about a US manoeuvre designed to make Soviet forces think they were being attacked. By monitoring the Soviet response to the emergency, the US would gather priceless information about their electronic communications.
But Carney says it was possible that "something could have gone wrong". If the Soviets really believed they were being attacked, lives could have been lost.
Carney decided it was time for drastic action. He booked a plane ticket to Mexico and turned up at the East German embassy unannounced, demanding they contact Berlin.

Carney sees some similarities between his story and that of Chelsea, formerly Bradley, Manning

He was smuggled out of Mexico and taken to Cuba, then on to Prague and finally to the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
He was given a new name, Jens Karney, an East German passport and somewhere to live.
His first place was a one-room apartment in a high-rise block with nothing but a black-and-white television and the complete works of Lenin translated into German.
It was far from perfect and he later realised the flat was bugged. In his autobiography he writes, "I was often lonely, but I was never alone".
He himself was given work listening to bugged conversations.
But when the Berlin Wall came down, things changed again. The Stasi unravelled and he took a job as a train driver on the Berlin subway.
Passport under the name of Jens Karney
In time, the Americans caught up with him. They seized him in the middle of a street in broad daylight in 1991, and flew him back to the US, where he was sentenced to 38 years in prison. That was reduced to 20 years after he co-operated in debriefings.
Carney served nearly 12 years behind bars and now lives with an adopted son in Ohio. He is unemployed and uses his time to paint.
He sees echoes of his own story in that of Chelsea, formerly Bradley, Manning - the US soldier sentenced to 35 years for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks.
Bradley Manning  in uniform

"When I look at Manning's case I see some similarities - age, experience level, first time overseas, faced with huge responsibility, top secret security clearance at a very young age," says Carney.
Both also struggled with their sexual identities, and were obliged to keep this part of their life secret from the military.
"The differences are, of course, that we are now in the age of computers, while then we lived in the age of paper and pencil," says Carney.
Now approaching 50, he has had plenty of time to think about what he describes in his book as "a long, insane journey that never seemed to stop".
He stands by his actions but "at an emotional level there is a lot of regret because I know what I did hurt people," he says - referring to his family and former colleagues.
So, if he could go back 30 years would he do it differently? No, he says.
"If I was faced with the exact same constellation of events, then I would probably make the same decisions."
Jeff Carney spoke to World Update on the BBC World Service.

How much damage did he do?

Carney compromised Canopy Wing, a highly classified plan designed to disable Soviet communications in the event of hostilities. Part of Nato's strategy was to rely on electronic warfare to deny the airwaves to the Soviet command-and-control structure, thereby handicapping the front-line forces' ability to send or receive orders. It was a highly sophisticated scheme that would render the adversary electronically "blind".
After Carney's defection a damage assessment exercise was carried out. This would have assumed that all the material he had had access to was compromised. Damage control would have included replacing or upgrading Canopy Wing. One estimate of the financial cost of this breach of security, and the new investment required, amounted to $14.5 billion (£9.2bn).
Nigel West, author of the Historical Dictionary of Cold War Counterintelligence

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