Archive for the ‘Warfare’ Category
10:39AM GMT 02 Mar 2015
A US military satellite exploded after detecting an unexplained “sudden spike in temperature”, sending dozens of chunks of debris tumbling into different orbits around Earth.
Air Force Space Command confirmed to SpaceNews.com that the “catastrophic event” came after “a sudden spike in temperature” was detected, followed by “an unrecoverable loss of attitude control”.
The satellite was an ageing component of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program which the US military began developing the in the 1960s to help plan reconnaissance and surveillance missions.
The lost satellite was the 13th to be launched as part of DMSP, designated DMSP-F13, and had been in Earth orbit since 1995.
Like all DMSP satellites it orbited the earth at an altitude of around 500 miles in a “sun-synchronous orbit” – meaning that they flew in a path taking in the north and south poles.
On each path around the earth, which took roughly 101 minutes, they would see a slightly different part of the planet. This would give each satellite a complete view of the entire planet’s surface twice a day.
15 January 2015
The UK and US are to carry out "war game" cyber attacks on each other as part of a new joint defence against online criminals.
The first exercise, a staged attack on the financial sector, will take place later this year, Downing Street said.
The "unprecedented" arrangement between the two countries was announced as Prime Minister David Cameron held talks with US President Barack Obama.
Agents will also co-operate in "cyber cells" on both sides of the Atlantic.
Downing Street said this was the first "cyber cell" the UK had established with another country.
The measures come in the wake of recent cyber attacks on Sony Pictures and US Central Command.
Secret state: Trevor Paglen documents the hidden world of governmental surveillance, from drone bases to "black sites"
Sunday 15 June 2014
Since he was a postgraduate geography student at UCLA 10 years ago, Paglen has dedicated himself to a very 21st-century challenge: seeing and recording what our political masters do everything in their power to render secret and invisible.
Above our heads more than 200 secret American surveillance satellites constantly orbit the Earth: with the help of fanatical amateur astronomers who track their courses, Paglen has photographed them. A secret air force base deep in the desert outside Las Vegas is the control centre for the US’s huge fleet of drones: Paglen has photographed these tiny dots hurtling through the Nevada skies. To carry out the extraordinary rendition programme which was one of President George W Bush’s answers to the 9/11 attacks, seizing suspects from the streets and spiriting them off to countries relaxed about torture, the CIA created numerous front companies: grinding through flight records and using the methods of a private detective, Paglen identified them, visiting and covertly photographing their offices and managers. The men and women who carried out the rendition programme were equipped with fake identities: Paglen has made a collection of these people’s unconvincing and fluctuating signatures, "people," as he puts it, "who don’t exist because they’re in the business of disappearing other people".
"The war on terror was getting started and I very early on got the sense that these blank spots on the map were somehow paradigmatic of something that was happening politically." As the World Trade Center smouldered, Vice-President Dick Cheney announced that the nation would have to engage its "dark side" to find the culprits. "We’ve got to spend time in the shadows," he said. "It’s going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal, basically, to achieve our objective." Paglen had his cue.
In his quest to unveil a world committed to staying hidden, his most bizarre discovery was that America’s secret soldiers and airmen wear distinctive uniform patches like regular servicemen, and many of them give broad hints about their work. In his tireless fashion, he tracked them down. Later he was amused to discover that I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon’s Black World, the book in which he collected the images, had become a bestseller among the special forces themselves. "Apparently all of them have that book in their office now," he laughs.
In contrast to the dreary world of the secret bases and prisons, here the secret forces let rip. The images on the patches include a wizard shooting lightning bolts from his staff, dragons dropping bombs, and skunks firing laser beams. One of the more sinister has the Latin tag Oderint Dum Metuant: "Let them hate as long as they fear".
Sen. Patrick Leahy says the American people are at risk of being controlled by their government due to the expansive surveillance powers of the National Security Agency.
Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” the Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee told host Chris Wallace that the nation’s lawmakers must act to return control of the government to the people.
“I think that we are going to maintain our ability to protect the United States,” Leahy began. “That’s extremely important.”
“The concern everybody has is allowing our government to have such a reach into your private life, my private life, and everybody else’s, that we are, we have the government controlling us instead of us controlling the government.”
“And that’s what both Republicans and Democrats are joined together on the Hill to try to change,” Leahy concluded.
Earlier in the program, Leahy suggested that viewers consider history when deciding whether the government should have so much access to the private communications of American citizens.
“I just think that there should be oversight,” Leahy said. “Think back in the history of this county, in J. Edgar Hoover’s day and all — if he had had the power when he was spying on protesters and those against the Vietnam War and Martin Luther King — if he had had the power that’s in here, think what might have happened. We Americans believe in our safety. We also believe in our ability to be private.”
“You still have to have some checks and balances before you have a government that can run amok,” Leahy said
The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
A list of what the NSA can actually do:
[BN: Full list edited to only those used against Americans]
- It can track the numbers of both parties on a phone call, as well location, time and duration. (More)
- It can set up fake internet cafes. (More)
- It can tap underwater fiber-optic cables. (More)
- It can track bank transactions. (More)
- It can monitor text messages. (More)
- It can access your email, chat, and web browsing history. (More)
- It can map your social networks. (More)
- It can access your smartphone app data. (More)
- It is trying to get into secret networks like Tor, diverting users to less secure channels. (More)
- It can set up listening posts on the roofs of buildings to monitor communications in a city. (More)
- It can set up a fake LinkedIn. (More)
- It can track the reservations at upscale hotels. (More)
- It can crack cellphone encryption codes. (More)
- It can hack computers that aren’t connected to the internet using radio waves. (Update: Clarification — the NSA can access computers through radio waves on which it has already installed hidden devices.) (More)
- It can intercept phone calls by setting up fake base stations. (More)
- It can remotely access a computer by setting up a fake wireless connection. (More)
- It can install fake SIM cards to then control a cell phone. (More)
- It can fake a USB thumb drive that’s actually a monitoring device. (More)
- It can crack all types of sophisticated computer encryption. (Update: It is trying to build this capability.) (More)
- It can go into online games and monitor communication. (More)
- It can intercept communications between aircraft and airports. (More)
- It can physically intercept deliveries, open packages, and make changes to devices. (More) (h/t)
The NSA and their contractors are using our tax dollars to violate our freedoms while our elected representatives repeatedly fail to actually represent us.
America, as The New Atlantis? One question. Is The New New Atlantis taking applications?
See the Full Original List here: Obama Speech on NSA Reforms a Sad Joke, 4th Amendment Destruction Now Sealed With Presidential Approval | The Daily Sheeple
Wednesday 15 January 2014
…This technology uses a “covert channel of radio waves” that can be transmitted from circuit boards and USB cards planted in computers, the report said, citing leaked NSA documents and US officials.
Filling in some more details of the NSA surveillance programmes revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in June 2013, the report said the transceivers must be physically inserted by a spy, a manufacturer or an unwitting user.
Once in place, the transceivers communicate with a briefcase-sized NSA field station, or hidden relay station, up to eight miles away.
The field station in turn communicates back to the NSA, and can also transmit malware to the target computer, including the kind used in attacks against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“What’s new here is the scale and the sophistication of the intelligence agency’s ability to get into computers and networks to which no one has ever had access before,” James Andrew Lewis, a cyber security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told the NYT.
“Some of these capabilities have been around for a while, but the combination of learning how to penetrate systems to insert software and learning how to do that using radio frequencies has given the US a window it’s never had before.”
The paper lists Chinese and Russian military, Mexican drug cartels, and trade institutions in the European Union, Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan as targets of the surveillance programme code-named Quantum.
From Computer Weekly: NSA uses secret radio tech to spy on offline computers
More on NSA surveillance from Computer Weekly:
- US tech firms call for NSA reforms
- Skype under investigation over link to NSA
- NSA tracks 5 billion phone records daily, Snowden docs show
- RSA vetoes NSA-linked encryption algorithm
- NSA planned to discredit Islamist radicals with porn web history
- NSA analysed UK data in secret deal, says Snowden
- NSA and GCHQ unlock online privacy encryption
- NSA and GCHQ mass surveillance violates EU law, study finds
- US publishes revealing review on NSA surveillance