Showing posts with label Intelligence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Intelligence. Show all posts

22 April 2018

Inside the Competitive, Corrupt World of Russian Intelligence


Bottom Line: The Kremlin employs an array of often overlapping and competitive security and intelligence services to create multiple sources of intelligence, encourage risk-taking and keep a wary eye on each other. This has enabled Russian President Vladimir Putin to consolidate power by playing agencies off of each other to avoid uninvited power grabs. But these redundancies can also create inefficiencies that Russia can’t afford as its economy continues to falter.

18 April 2018

Fixing Foreign Intelligence: The Linguist Dimension

Dheeraj P C

Indian intelligence agencies needs to include language skills if they wish to improve their effectiveness. Fans of the James Bond series are well aware that the fictional MI6 character spoke German, French, Japanese and Danish. One may wonder: does the real world of espionage and intelligence agencies in the West really have such diverse linguistic expertise? The answer is both yes and no! That begs a deeper inquiry: what has been their experience so far with employing people with linguistic skills in collecting and analysing intelligence on foreign threats? It has been a story of severe catastrophe, followed by noteworthy remedial actions. The business of foreign intelligence requires a high level of language proficiency, which is sometimes hard to come by, and at times, unable to put to use effectively. This is explored in great detail in the sections below.

13 April 2018

New Zealand military confirms spending millions on controversial spy software produced by secretive Silicon Valley firm Palantir Technologies

Matt Nippert

The New Zealand Defence Force has spent millions on controversial spy software produced by secretive Silicon Valley firm Palantir. After refusing for more than a year to reveal the extent of links to Peter Thiel’s big data analysis company, prompting a complaint by the Herald on Sunday to the Ombudsman, the NZDF were forced to disclose annual spending with Palantir averaged $1.2 million. The figures suggest since contracts were first signed in 2012 the defence force has spent $7.2m with the firm.


25 March 2018



A group picture of all the IAF pilots that participated in the operation of bombing a Syrian nuclear reactor site in 2007. Up until now, the “secret security affair,” aka the Israeli attack on the Syrian nuclear reactor, has only been reported in foreign media due to censorship regulations. Now that it has been approved for publication in Israeli media, too, I am excited to recall that period 10 years ago when I served as head of the IDF Technological Intelligence Department in the Research Division and later as deputy head of the entire division. In essence, I was the leading IDF intelligence officer at the time of the attack. 


Eli Ben Meir

Up until now, the “secret security affair,” aka the Israeli attack on the Syrian nuclear reactor, has only been reported in foreign media due to censorship regulations. Now that it has been approved for publication in Israeli media, too, I am excited to recall that period 10 years ago when I served as head of the IDF Technological Intelligence Department in the Research Division and later as deputy head of the entire division. In essence, I was the leading IDF intelligence officer at the time of the attack. I have many and varied memories from that time. My department was the first to uncover the existence of the nuclear reactor, just a few months before the attack took place. We immediately alerted our superior officers and then continued to be involved in the progress of the affair. We participated in dozens of deliberations in which the situation was assessed and then reassessed and details about a possible attack were discussed. We carried out numerous simulations and articulated what the probable reactions from the Syrians and especially Bashar Assad could be.

24 March 2018

Are Cold War Spy-Craft Norms Fading?

by Jonathan Masters

The poisoning of a Russian former double agent, Sergei V. Skripal, and his daughter with a rare nerve agent in England has raised new concerns in NATO capitals about Russia’s willingness to escalate intelligence operations beyond established norms. The British and U.S. governments have blamed Russia for the attack, which follows a series of unexplained deaths of Russians in the United Kingdom in recent years. For longtime CIA veteran Jack Devine, it appears that some of the unwritten conventions of spy-craft with Russia no longer apply. “Russia today seems unconstrained by any norms,” says Devine in a written interview, citing assassination campaigns, meddling in foreign elections, and bombing civilians in Syria.
Are there spy-craft norms?

18 March 2018

After a year of gripes, Trump’s hands now free to reshape CIA, NSA

Tim Johnson

Fourteen months into his term, President Donald Trump is reshaping America’s two largest intelligence agencies, both of them facing internal troubles and a cascade of global threats. Trump on Tuesday tapped CIA Director Mike Pompeo to become secretary of state, and elevated Pompeo’s deputy, Gina Haspel, to become the agency’s first-ever female director. Later this spring, the top-secret National Security Agency will also get a new director. Both agencies have been, at times, vilified by Trump, and faced a series of leaks and disclosures in recent years that have battered morale. Yet for all of Trump’s complaints, he has chosen insiders rather than bomb-throwers to take their helms, signaling a muscular — but not disruptive — approach to intelligence gathering.

Russia Has a Long History of Eliminating 'Enemies of the State'

Calder Walton

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced it was "highly likely" Russia was behind a nerve agent attack that left a Russian double agent and his daughter fighting for their lives. Sergei Skripal, a retired Russian military intelligence officer living in Britain, collapsed March 4 on a Salisbury park bench, along with his daughter. For about a decade, Skripal spied for Britain's foreign intelligence service, MI6, while working inside Russian intelligence....

12 March 2018


Kim Zetter

WHEN THE MYSTERIOUS entity known as “Shadow Brokers” released a tranche of stolen NSA hacking tools to the internet a year ago, most experts who studied the material honed in on the most potent tools, so-called “zero-day” exploits that could be used to install malware and take over machines. But a group of Hungarian security researchers spotted something else in the data, a collection of scripts and scanning tools the NSA uses to detect other nation-state hackers on the machines it infects.

11 March 2018

America’s Other Espionage Challenge: China


With all the focus on Russian meddling in the 2016 election, the damage done by China’s vigorous and continuing espionage against the United States has taken a back seat. The preoccupation with Russia, in fact, has obscured the significant inroads made by Chinese intelligence and cyberspies. In some cases, China has proved more skillful than Russia in infiltrating American intelligence. A case involving a former C.I.A. officer named Jerry Chun Shing Lee is a perfect example. Beginning in 2010, C.I.A. sources in China began disappearing; a dozen were reported executed and several more imprisoned. What had seemed a major success in establishing a network of C.I.A. spies inside China had been turned into a devastating intelligence failure. The C.I.A. and F.B.I., suspecting a mole, went on a secret hunt.

10 March 2018

The Rising Tide of China's Human Intelligence

By Philip Caruso

On Jan. 15, FBI agents arrested Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a former CIA case officer, and charged him with unlawful retention of classified information. Lee is the sixth person charged by the Justice Department in the past two years for espionage-related offenses suspected to have been conducted on behalf of the People’s Republic of China. By comparison, prior to 2015, only one or two people on average per year were arrested for such offenses. The increased frequency of arrests—coinciding with a public March 2016 announcement by the Chinese government that intelligence efforts would be more heavily resourced—may indicate that China is scaling up traditional human intelligence efforts against the United States government.


Ryan Gallagher

The “SIGINT Seniors” is a spy agency coalition that meets annually to collaborate on global security issues. It has two divisions, each focusing on different parts of the world: SIGINT Seniors Europe and SIGINT Seniors Pacific. Both are led by the U.S. National Security Agency, and together they include representatives from at least 17 other countries. Members of the group are from spy agencies that eavesdrop on communications – a practice known as “signals intelligence,” or SIGINT.

24 February 2018

The Threat Of Aadhaar-Enabled Surveillance

by Srinivas Kodali

Information is power, and in the twenty-first century, information warfare is another vertical which nation-states need to be worried about.

The cost of mass surveillance enabled by Aadhaar to a democratic society would be enormous, with all our rights being at the whims of governments. 

The Aadhaar project has faced heavy criticism over the past two years because of the manner in which it is being forced upon citizens and concerns of potential privacy violations, surveillance by state and non-state actors apart from the high rate of failure with biometrics for elderly/differently abled people. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the proponents of the project have always claimed Aadhaar is privacy by design and collects minimal information. The Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad loses no opportunity to flash his Aadhaar card at public events and point out that it has only the name, date of birth, gender and address and that the enrolment process does not collect religion, caste and other sensitive information.

23 February 2018

12 technologies that will disrupt business in 2018

By Paul Heltzel

From artificial intelligence to augmented reality, these dozen disruptive technologies and trends will begin driving how business gets done at forward-thinking organizations this year.
In 2018, disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and computer vision are maturing, going from game-changing ideas to foundational tools for business. This year, we’ll see these and other technologies drive how business gets done and what new products will launch in the near future.

22 February 2018


Last month, David Sanger and William Broad’s article in the New York Times, “How U.S. Intelligence Agencies Underestimated North Korea,” ranked the failure to predict the recent breakout pace of North Korea’s nuclear program as “among America’s most significant intelligence failures.”

As two career military intelligence officers we appreciate Sanger and Broad’s tough critique on US intelligence agencies—especially considering one of us is a former student of Sanger’s. However, the tone and tenor that Sanger and Broad use is exaggerated and counterproductive to informing the public on the roles and capabilities of intelligence. More fundamentally, calling US intelligence on North Korea an “intelligence failure” is simply wrong.

Russia by Cyber, North Korea by Nuke: A New Batch of Grim Warnings from US Intel

Questioning on Russian election interference and how the Trump White House handles staff clearances dominated the worldwide threat hearing Tuesday, as the Senate intelligence committee grilled leaders of the FBI, CIA, NSA, DNI, DIA and NGA over the contents of the 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

15 February 2018

Is There a Deep State?

Jacob Heilbrunn

IN ALFRED Hitchcock’s 1959 movie North by Northwest, the protagonist Roger Thornhill, a genial New York advertising man played by Cary Grant, is suddenly swept up into clandestine Cold War machinations. Only after he encounters an American spymaster named the Professor, who is based on CIA director Allen Dulles, the brother of John Foster Dulles and a charter member of the American Establishment, does Thornhill begin to decipher the turbulent series of events, including a harrowing encounter with the anonymous pilot of a crop duster, that have put his life in jeopardy. “I don’t like the games you play,” Thornhill declares. “War is hell, Mr. Thornhill,” the Professor retorts, “even when it’s a cold one.” Thornhill is enraged. “Perhaps you ought to start learning,” he says, “how to lose a few cold wars.”

8 February 2018

Artificial Intelligence in Defence

By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd) 

Wing Loong

The next level of strategic cooperation between India and Japan has become apparent with the news that India and Japan are to work together to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in the defence sector. Chatting with Indian media last month, said, "You should expect to see increased bilateral cooperation between us (India and Japan) to develop unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) and robotics." This cooperation is important considering the increasingly aggressive stance by China and

Artificial Intelligence:

By Sam Cohen 

Enhancing the Intelligence Community’s Exploitation and Dissemination Capacity as an Offset to Information Overload

Understanding AI’s Ability to Address Information Overload

An important first step towards understanding the potential utility and applicability of AI

7 February 2018


By Danny Lam

Competition between public and controlled information is as old as life.

From the beginning of time, there were information hoarder / controllers and disseminators / distributors. Information science tells us that 99% of information is public and only a tiny portion is significantly restricted.