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Pedro Gonçalves

NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans' data with Israel | World news | The Gu... - 0 views

  • The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.
  • the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis.
  • The deal was reached in principle in March 2009, according to the undated memorandum, which lays out the ground rules for the intelligence sharing.The five-page memorandum, termed an agreement between the US and Israeli intelligence agencies "pertaining to the protection of US persons", repeatedly stresses the constitutional rights of Americans to privacy and the need for Israeli intelligence staff to respect these rights.But this is undermined by the disclosure that Israel is allowed to receive "raw Sigint" – signal intelligence. The memorandum says: "Raw Sigint includes, but is not limited to, unevaluated and unminimized transcripts, gists, facsimiles, telex, voice and Digital Network Intelligence metadata and content."According to the agreement, the intelligence being shared would not be filtered in advance by NSA analysts to remove US communications. "NSA routinely sends ISNU [the Israeli Sigint National Unit] minimized and unminimized raw collection"
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  • a much stricter rule was set for US government communications found in the raw intelligence. The Israelis were required to "destroy upon recognition" any communication "that is either to or from an official of the US government". Such communications included those of "officials of the executive branch (including the White House, cabinet departments, and independent agencies), the US House of Representatives and Senate (member and staff) and the US federal court system (including, but not limited to, the supreme court)".
  • Although Israel is one of America's closest allies, it is not one of the inner core of countries involved in surveillance sharing with the US - Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. This group is collectively known as Five Eyes.
  • In the top-secret 2013 intelligence community budget request, details of which were disclosed by the Washington Post, Israel is identified alongside Iran and China as a target for US cyberattacks.
  • another report, marked top secret and dated September 2007, states that the relationship, while central to US strategy, has become overwhelmingly one-sided in favor of Israel.
  • In another top-secret document seen by the Guardian, dated 2008, a senior NSA official points out that Israel aggressively spies on the US. "On the one hand, the Israelis are extraordinarily good Sigint partners for us, but on the other, they target us to learn our positions on Middle East problems," the official says. "A NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] ranked them as the third most aggressive intelligence service against the US."
Pedro Gonçalves

GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians' communications at G20 summits | UK news | The Gua... - 0 views

  • Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.
  • The G20 spying appears to have been organised for the more mundane purpose of securing an advantage in meetings. Named targets include long-standing allies such as South Africa and Turkey.
  • According to the material seen by the Guardian, GCHQ generated this product by attacking both the computers and the telephones of delegates.
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  • The documents suggest that the operation was sanctioned in principle at a senior level in the government of the then prime minister, Gordon Brown, and that intelligence, including briefings for visiting delegates, was passed to British ministers.
  • A detailed report records the efforts of the NSA's intercept specialists at Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire to target and decode encrypted phone calls from London to Moscow which were made by the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, and other Russian delegates.
  • Another document records that when G20 finance ministers met in London in September, GCHQ again took advantage of the occasion to spy on delegates, identifying the Turkish finance minister, Mehmet Simsek, as a target and listing 15 other junior ministers and officials in his delegation as "possible targets". As with the other G20 spying, there is no suggestion that Simsek and his party were involved in any kind of criminal offence. The document explicitly records a political objective – "to establish Turkey's position on agreements from the April London summit" and their "willingness (or not) to co-operate with the rest of the G20 nations".
  • A second review implies that the analysts' findings were being relayed rapidly to British representatives in the G20 meetings, a negotiating advantage of which their allies and opposite numbers may not have been aware: "In a live situation such as this, intelligence received may be used to influence events on the ground taking place just minutes or hours later. This means that it is not sufficient to mine call records afterwards – real-time tip-off is essential."
Pedro Gonçalves

Obama orders US to draw up overseas target list for cyber-attacks | World news | guardi... - 0 views

  • The 18-page Presidential Policy Directive 20, issued in October last year but never published, states that what it calls Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO)
  • An intelligence source with extensive knowledge of the National Security Agency's systems told the Guardian the US complaints again China were hypocritical, because America had participated in offensive cyber operations and widespread hacking – breaking into foreign computer systems to mine information.Provided anonymity to speak critically about classified practices, the source said: "We hack everyone everywhere. We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world."The US likes to haul China before the international court of public opinion for "doing what we do every day", the source added.
Pedro Gonçalves

NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily | World news | The ... - 0 views

  • The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.
  • The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual. Fisa court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target who is suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets.
  • The order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson, compels Verizon to produce to the NSA electronic copies of "all call detail records or 'telephony metadata' created by Verizon for communications between the United States and abroad" or "wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls".
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  • The court order expressly bars Verizon from disclosing to the public either the existence of the FBI's request for its customers' records, or the court order itself.
  • The information is classed as "metadata", or transactional information, rather than communications, and so does not require individual warrants to access. The document also specifies that such "metadata" is not limited to the aforementioned items. A 2005 court ruling judged that cell site location data – the nearest cell tower a phone was connected to – was also transactional data, and so could potentially fall under the scope of the order.
  • The court order appears to explain the numerous cryptic public warnings by two US senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, about the scope of the Obama administration's surveillance activities.For roughly two years, the two Democrats have been stridently advising the public that the US government is relying on "secret legal interpretations" to claim surveillance powers so broad that the American public would be "stunned" to learn of the kind of domestic spying being conducted.
  • In a letter to attorney general Eric Holder last year, they argued that "there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows.""We believe," they wrote, "that most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted" the "business records" provision of the Patriot Act.
  • The NSA, as part of a program secretly authorized by President Bush on 4 October 2001, implemented a bulk collection program of domestic telephone, internet and email records. A furore erupted in 2006 when USA Today reported that the NSA had "been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth" and was "using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity." Until now, there has been no indication that the Obama administration implemented a similar program.These recent events reflect how profoundly the NSA's mission has transformed from an agency exclusively devoted to foreign intelligence gathering, into one that focuses increasingly on domestic communications.
Pedro Gonçalves

NSA taps in to user data of Facebook, Apple, Google and others, secret files reveal | W... - 0 views

  • Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU's Center for Democracy, that it was astonishing the NSA would even ask technology companies to grant direct access to user data."It's shocking enough just that the NSA is asking companies to do this," he said. "The NSA is part of the military. The military has been granted unprecedented access to civilian communications."This is unprecedented militarisation of domestic communications infrastructure. That's profoundly troubling to anyone who is concerned about that separation."
Pedro Gonçalves

Social media and opposition to blame for protests, says Turkish PM | World news | The G... - 0 views

  • The dramatic events also exposed the complicity and almost complete government control of mainstream Turkish media, which has largely failed to report the protests."The Turkish media have embarrassed themselves," Caliskan said. "While the whole world was broadcasting from Taksim Square, Turkish television stations were showing cooking shows. It is now very clear that we do not have press freedom in Turkey."
  • Hasip Kaplan, an MP from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy party, said: "After 1 June, the policy of 'for the people despite the people' is bankrupt. [The government] will have to listen to the people's opinions on mega-projects. Now is the time of participatory decision-making."
Pedro Gonçalves

'Killer robots' pose threat to peace and should be banned, UN warned | Science | The Gu... - 0 views

  • "Machines lack morality and mortality, and as a result should not have life and death powers over humans,"
  • "States are working towards greater and greater autonomy in weapons, and the potential is there for such technologies to be developed in the next 10 or 20 years,"
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles were intended initially only for surveillance, and their use for offensive purposes was prohibited, yet once strategists realised their perceived advantages as a means of carrying out targeted killings, all objections were swept out of the way.
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  • Drone technology has already moved a step closer to a fully autonomous state in the form of the X-47B, a super-charged UAV developed by the US Navy that can fly itself, and which last week completed the first takeoff from an aircraft carrier. The drone is billed as a non-combat craft, yet its design includes two weapons bays capable of carrying more than 4,000lbs.Britain is developing its own next generation of drone, known as Taranis, that can be sent to tackle targets at long range and can defend itself from enemy aircraft. Like X-47B it has two in-built weapons bays, though is currently unarmed.
  • South Korea has set up sentry robots known as SGR-1 along the Demilitarized Zone with North Korea that can detect people entering the zone through heat and motion sensors; though the sentry is currently configured so that it has to be operated by a human, it is reported to have an automatic mode, which, if deployed, would allow it to fire independently on intruders.
  • the Pentagon is spending about $6bn a year on research and development of unmanned systems, though in a directive adopted last November it said that fully autonomous weapons could only be used "to apply non-lethal, non-kinetic force, such as some forms of electronic attack".
  • The possibility of "out of the loop" weapons raises a plethora of moral and legal issues, Heyns says. Most worryingly, it could lead to increasing distance between those carrying out the attack and their targets: "In addition to being physically removed from the kinetic action, humans would also become more detached from decisions to kill – and their execution."
Pedro Gonçalves

Swedish riots: if instability can happen here, what might unfold elsewhere? | Aditya Ch... - 0 views

  • We all know the cliches, but the reality is they no longer fit the country so well. Whether it's on the wealth gap, or welfare, or public services, Sweden is less "Swedish" than it has ever been. As in other continental capitals, the Stockholm version of the "European social model" is an increasingly tattered thing, albeit still appealed to by the political elites and still resonant in the popular culture.
  • parties of all persuasions have drifted rightwards over the past few years. It was the left that, in 2005, abolished inheritance tax, so that a Swede will now pay no duty on being left a million kronor, but will face a tax of 67% for starting their own business. And when it comes to privatising public services, Stockholm is way out in front of Westminster.
  • while much of the initial rise in inequality was about rich Swedes getting richer, increasingly poor Swedes are getting pushed backwards, either by unemployment and incapacity benefits getting relatively meaner, or by the rise in joblessness. On some measures, one in four young Swedes are out of work. In some towns, they are handed money to emigrate to richer Norway. Von Sydow lives in Oslo and observes: "In any local cafe, the barista will be a Swede."
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  • The first thing to observe about Sweden is how rapidly a gulf is opening up between rich and poor. Between 1985 and the late 2000s, according to the OECD thinktank, Sweden saw the biggest growth in inequality of all the 31 most industrialised countries. It's important not to overstate this: the country remains one of the most egalitarian in the world – but it is taking big steps in the wrong direction.
  • The Economist, that inflight magazine for the autodidactic plutocrat, recently wrote: "The streets of Stockholm are awash with the blood of sacred cows." It then went on to praise its school system as in the image of Milton Friedman. Except that as social-policy academic Joakim Palme observes, the school system has got worse on the Pisa international rankings.
  • Sweden's economy is still growing
Pedro Gonçalves

Swedish riots spark surprise and anger | World news | The Observer - 0 views

  • "These people, they should integrate in this society and just try a little bit more to be like Swedish citizens."Scratch beneath the surface and this is a sentiment shared by many in a country that arguably has the world's most generous asylum policies. Sweden has taken in more than 11,000 refugees from Syria since 2012, more per head than any other European country, and it has absorbed more than 100,000 Iraqis and 40,000 Somalis over the past two decades. About 1.8 million of its 9.5 million people are first- or second-generation immigrants.
  • So it has come as a shock for many Swedes to discover the scale of resentment. It's not hard to find it. Aleks, whose parents came from Kosovo, says: "I hate the police. I hate the cops. I think setting fire to cars in the neighbourhood should stop, but I don't think throwing rocks at the cops should stop."
  • The trigger for the riots – police shooting dead a 69-year-old Portuguese man called Lenine Relvas-Martins
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  • Martins had been brandishing a knife on his balcony, angry after a confrontation with local youths. Police then broke into his house and shot him in front of his Finnish wife. They say she was at risk. She denies it.The police then inflamed the situation last Sunday, reportedly calling young people causing a disturbance "monkeys" and "negroes".
  • there's no doubt Husby has better facilities than deprived areas in Britain. But it is also more segregated. About 85% of people here have their origins outside Sweden.
  • "The politicians are thinking the wrong way. They want to help people, but you never help people when you put 30,000 to 50,000 in one place," complains the man painting at the library.
  • "For a lot of people who live in segregated areas, the only Swedes they meet are social workers or police officers. It's amazing how many have never had a Swedish friend."
  • A third of the 2,500 white, ethnic Swedes who lived in Husby 10 years ago have left.
  • Inequality has also grown faster in Sweden over the past decade than in any other developed country, according to thinktank the OECD, which puts the blame partly on tax cuts paid for by reductions in welfare spending.
  • According to official statistics, more than 10% of those aged 25 to 55 in Husby are unemployed, compared with 3.5% in Stockholm as a whole. Those that do have jobs earn 40% less than the city average.
  • Esmail Jamshidi, a 23-year-old medical student born and educated in Husby, says young people don't lack opportunities."It's a very recent development, this ghetto mentality," he says. "Immigrants come here, and most leave after a decade or two. A very small percentage of them don't, and this last group are left
  • The older generation of immigrants seems as puzzled by the anger as Swedes. Ali, the owner of Café Unic, a Persian cafe in Husby's main square, says he tried living in America but came back. "I love this country. I mean it," he says. "I'm telling my kids every day to remember that you are born here, in Sweden. I love this country because of the way they built it: because of my taxes, and other people's taxes, everyone has a nice place to live. It's a very, very nice and good idea."
Pedro Gonçalves

Generations are divided on feelings about Muslims after London attack | Matthew Goodwin... - 0 views

  • the number of citizens who think that conflict between groups is "largely inevitable" has risen by seven points to 40%, or that agreement with the suggestion that there will be a serious clash between British Muslims and white Britons has also risen, by nine points to 59%.
  • the percentage of respondents who view Muslims as compatible jumped by almost 10 points to 33%. Clearly, the numbers remain low, and point to wider challenges facing government and our local communities
  • Whereas expectations of a future clash between Muslims and non-Muslims are especially pronounced among citizens aged 60 and above (at 70%), among 18- to 24-year-olds this figure tumbles to 48%.
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  • Whereas only 21% of the older group view Muslims as compatible with British life, the figure among young Britons is almost twice as high, at 38%. Whereas almost half of the over-sixties view British Muslims as posing a serious threat to democracy, the equivalent figure among more recent generations is just 19%.
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