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

16 January 2018

Shake-Up at Pentagon Intelligence Agency Sparks Concern


The director of the agency responsible for analyzing satellite imagery says he wants to modernize the work. Some employees fear they’re being replaced by artificial intelligence. When Kim Jong Un gears up to launch a ballistic missile, analysts at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency comb through satellite imagery, looking for distinct signs on the the ground in North Korea indicating test preparations are underway.

14 January 2018


Arnold Isaacs

Few if any Central Intelligence Agency critics can match John Prados’s credentials or his credibility. A prolific author and long-time associate of the National Security Archive, Prados has spent many years pursuing declassification of CIA documents and then putting that material in the historical record. In The Ghosts of Langley, which follows several earlier works on CIA-related subjects, Prados revisits a series of troubling episodes spanning more than six decades of CIA history, from its clumsy and ineffective efforts to support resistance behind the Iron Curtain in the 1950s to the black prisons and torture scandals of the “war on terror” era.

9 January 2018

Agency Transformed, NSA Chief Rogers Set for Spring Departure

The Cipher Brief

The Cipher Brief spoke with its former NSA and cyber experts on their reactions to the news that NSA and Cyber Command chief Adm. Michael Rogers would be retiring in the spring. In his four years in the post, Rogers presided over a controversial reorganization of NSA that some hailed as rendering the top code-breaking agency as more efficient, but that roiled the workforce. Rogers was also central to the maturation of U.S. Cyber Command as it grew into its first unclassified mission against ISIS but encountered a number of damaging leaks of highly classified information over at NSA.

7 January 2018


Anna Ahronheim
Jerusalem Post

Unit 3060 was formed in 2014 and has soldiers who specialize in technology.

The army is increasing the effectiveness of its troops on the battlefield with a unit in Military Intelligence that has revolutionized how soldiers receive and understand intelligence.

Formed in September 2014 as part of a reorganization of responsibilities by Military Intelligence, Unit 3060 has some 400 soldiers (half of them career intelligence officers) who specialize in technology-related fields.

Intelligence: Mossad Milks Facebook

Israel’s main intelligence agency, Mossad (Hebrew for Institute) started recruiting new personnel via Facebook in mid-December. Mossad has been recruiting via the Internet since the 1990s but apparently noted that a lot of potential Mossad recruits regarded Facebook as they primary Internet destination. While the Mossad web site goes into detail about jobs available the Facebook approach was more general, using a flashy video. Mossad notes that it has full and part-time jobs and is able to accommodate those with disabilities as long as they have the skills Mossad seeks. Some of the specific skills sought recently include leatherwork, an accountant willing to travel a lot and a master carpenter able to do custom work. Mossad and other major intelligence agencies have long used Facebook for collecting information about what is going on in other countries, including recruiting local agents or informants there. But recruiting staff is another matter.

5 January 2018


Source Link

But have you talked to Siri or Alexa recently? Then you’ll know that despite the hype, and worried billionaires, there are many things that artificial intelligence still can’t do or understand. Here are five thorny problems that experts will be bending their brains against next year. Machines are better than ever at working with text and language. Facebook can read out a description of images for visually impaired people. Google does a decent job of suggesting terse replies to emails. Yet software still can’t really understand the meaning of our words and the ideas we share with them. “We’re able to take concepts we’ve learned and combine them in different ways, and apply them in new situations,” says Melanie Mitchell, a professor at Portland State University. “These AI and machine learning systems are not.”

29 December 2017

Silicon Valley Is Turning Into Its Own Worst Fear

We asked a group of writers to consider the forces that have shaped our lives in 2017. Here, science fiction writer Ted Chiang looks at capitalism, Silicon Valley, and its fear of superintelligent AI.

This summer, Elon Musk spoke to the National Governors Association and told them that “AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.” Doomsayers have been issuing similar warnings for some time, but never before have they commanded so much visibility. Musk isn’t necessarily worried about the rise of a malicious computer like Skynet from The Terminator. Speaking to Maureen Dowd for a Vanity Fair article published in April, Musk gave an example of an artificial intelligence that’s given the task of picking strawberries. It seems harmless enough, but as the AI redesigns itself to be more effective, it might decide that the best way to maximize its output would be to destroy civilization and convert the entire surface of the Earth into strawberry fields. Thus, in its pursuit of a seemingly innocuous goal, an AI could bring about the extinction of humanity purely as an unintended side effect.

24 December 2017

The Pentagon’s New Artificial Intelligence Is Already Hunting Terrorists


After less than eight months of development, the algorithms are helping intel analysts exploit drove video over the battlefield.
Earlier this month at an undisclosed location in the Middle East, computers using special algorithms helped intelligence analysts identify objects in a video feed from a small ScanEagle drone over the battlefield.

A few days into the trials, the computer identified objects — people, cars, types of building — correctly about 60 percent of the time. Just over a week on the job — and a handful of on-the-fly software updates later — the machine’s accuracy improved to around 80 percent. Next month, when its creators send the technology back to war with more software and hardware updates, they believe it will become even more accurate.

The FBI and CIA need more political management, not less


The Bolsheviks were wrong about everything except the need to defeat (real) fascism, and the necessity for firm control of the Cheka, the secret police.

Michael Morell, the former Acting Director of the CIA, recently confessedthat maybe it was a mistake for himself, the former chief of the CIA and NSA, Gen. Michael Hayden, and the then-Director of the CIA, John Brennan, to criticize candidate Donald Trump. He admitted that he failed to understand how Trump would interpret their campaign criticism, which is pretty damning coming from someone who briefed presidents on how foreign leaders think.

23 December 2017

5 Key Artificial Intelligence Predictions For 2018: How Machine Learning Will Change Everything

By Bernard Marr

During 2017 it was hard to escape predictions that artificial intelligence is about to change the world. In 2018, this is unlikely to change. However, an increased focus on repeatable and quantifiable results is likely to ground some of the “big picture” thinking in reality.

Don’t get me wrong – in 2018 AI and machine learning will still be making headlines, and there are likely to be more sensationalized claims about robots wanting to take our jobs or even destroy us. However, stories about real innovation and progress should start to receive more prominence as the promise of the smart, learning machines increasingly begins to bear fruit.

14 December 2017

Former CIA Director: Russia’s Election Hacking Was An ‘Intelligence Failure’

Susan B. Glasser

The politics of spying in America has never been more intense. President Trump has taken to publicly bashing his intelligence agencies and continues, a full year later, to question their conclusion that Russia intervened in the 2016 U.S. election on his behalf. For their part, an array of career spooks have come out of the shadows where they spent their careers to challenge the commander-in-chief in once unthinkably public terms. Michael Morell is one of the career types who’s broken with decades of practice to confront Trump. A veteran of nearly three decades in the CIA, Morell rose from within the ranks to become the agency’s longtime deputy director, twice serving as its acting leader before retiring during President Barack Obama’s second term. In the summer of 2016, he broke with tradition to endorse Hillary Clinton over Trump, and he has continued to sound the alarm ever since.

13 December 2017

Fooling all the people all the time

By Lucien Crowder

Amy Zegart, a Stanford University expert on intelligence and national security, makes a simple but compelling point in a short, gripping Atlantic article called “The tools of espionage are going mainstream.” Once upon a time, Zegart argues, national leaders employed military deception and espionage techniques to trick the leaders of other countries. Now, deception has become a weapon that targets civilians. “We are moving to a world,” Zegart writes, “where the tip of the spear isn’t a soldier or a spy, but everyday citizens on their smart phones. ... Russia may be the first to embrace massive online geopolitical deception, but it is unlikely to be the only one.”

Anyone Can Build Their Own NSA Eavesdropping Empire

Cortney Weinbaum, Steven Berner, Bruce McClintock

This Perspective examines and challenges the assumption that signals intelligence (SIGINT) is an inherently governmental function by revealing nongovernmental approaches and technologies that allow private citizens to conduct SIGINT activities. RAND researchers relied on publicly available information to identify SIGINT capabilities in the open market and to describe the intelligence value each capability provides to users. They explore the implications each capability might provide to the United States and allied governments. The team explored four technology areas where nongovernmental SIGINT is flourishing: maritime domain awareness; radio frequency (RF) spectrum mapping; eavesdropping, jamming, and hijacking of satellite systems; and cyber surveillance. They then identified areas where further research and debate are needed to create legal, regulatory, policy, process, and human capital solutions to the challenges these new capabilities provide to government.

12 December 2017

Counterintelligence in the Private Sector

By William Tucker

When it comes to research and development, the United States spends more than any other nation. According to the National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering, the U.S. spent $499 billion dollars on R&D with 69% of that sum coming from the private sector. Knowing this, foreign intelligence services have been targeting U.S. businesses rather aggressively over the past few decades. Theft of intellectual property belonging to U.S. business can save foreign competitors millions, if not billions, of dollars each year. The U.S. business sector, however, has been ill equipped to deal with the collection attempts by both foreign powers and business sector competitors. Losses to U.S. companies range from tens of billions to hundreds of billions annually and these far ranging estimates do not always consider tertiary losses. Economic espionage is so problematic because not only does it undermine U.S. national security, but it also harms the overall economic well-being.

10 December 2017


Ron Deibert

THROUGHOUT 2016 AND 2017, individuals in Canada, United States, Germany, Norway, United Kingdom, and numerous other countries began to receive suspicious emails. It wasn’t just common spam. These people were chosen.

The emails were specifically designed to entice each individual to click a malicious link. Had the targets done so, their internet connections would have been hijacked and surreptitiously directed to servers laden with malware designed by a surveillance company in Israel. The spies who contracted the Israeli company’s services would have been able to monitor everything those targets did on their devices, including remotely activating the camera and microphone.

7 December 2017

The Surveillance Operative Lurking In The Living Room

The holiday shopping season is here once again. And this year, surveillance and espionage products have made it to the top of a surprising number of wish lists in the guise of digital home assistants. The devices already have brought microphones into as many rooms of our houses as we're willing to allow. Now, many of them come equipped with cameras as well. Despite concerns about the threat to privacy that earlier generations of the devices have posed - one product from Amazon's Alexa line carried the unfortunate name of Dox - enhanced video capability appears to be the next big thing in digital home assistants.

Mind the Millennial Training Gap

By Margaret S. Marangione

As the need for new analysts continues to grow, the intelligence community is looking to add millennials, the largest generation in the U.S. work force. These young people—born between about 1980 and 2000—bring a new perspective, but teaching them the necessary skills for analysis must be done differently than it was in even the recent past. Their attitudes and thought processes are vastly different from their predecessors, requiring a new approach to intelligence training and education to make the best use of their abundant skills.

Use What’s Known to Get to the Unknowns


The U.S. intelligence community has long considered its mission as the gatherer of secrets. But sometimes insights are hiding in plain sight among tweets, blog posts, online videos, newspaper articles, academic journals and public records. Leveraging such open source information can greatly enhance our understanding of the world and critical events with national security implications. The Cipher Brief’s Levi Maxey spoke with Jason Matheny, the director of Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the U.S. intelligence community’s over-the-horizon research and development wing, about the value the intelligence community places on open source data.

3 December 2017


Trevor Aaronson

By withholding evidence of warrantless spying, the government avoided a court challenge to controversial mass surveillance — which is now before Congress. FAZLIDDIN KURBANOV IS a barrel-chested man from Uzbekistan who came to the United States in 2009, when he was in his late 20s. A Christian who had converted from Islam, Kurbanov arrived as a refugee and spoke little English. Resettled in Boise, Idaho, he rented an apartment, worked odd jobs, and was studying to be a truck driver.

2 December 2017

Search is on for North Korean missile debris

Bill Gertz

U.S. and Japanese warships sailed to the waters near northwestern Japan this week to support American intelligence agencies in a search for the debris of North Korea’s latest long-range missile test. The searchers hope to find clues to the makeup of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental-range missile launched Wednesday that is believed to be a variant of the Hwasong-14 fired off in two flights in July. The missile was fired around 3 a.m. Wednesday local time and flew 50 minutes and with an estimated range farther than all previous missile tests. It flew some 2,500 miles into space but only a distance of just over 600 miles from the launch site on the Korean Peninsula.