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From User: Decius

Current Topic: Security

PostPartisan - A final warning to WikiLeaks?
Topic: Security 2:26 pm EDT, Aug  6, 2010

Thiessen telegraphs Pentagon statement as threat - shit is about to go down.

"We are making a demand of them," Morrell said. "We are asking them to do the right thing."

"We hope they will honor our demands," Morrell said, adding if WikiLeaks refuses to comply "we will cross the next bridge when we come to it."

"If doing the right thing is not good enough for them," the Pentagon spokesman said, alternatives will be explored "to make them do the right thing."

Sounds like a final warning has been issued -- and that the Obama administration intends to take action to stop WikiLeaks from disclosing any further life-threatening intelligence.

PostPartisan - A final warning to WikiLeaks?

Hoder arrested in Iran, faces death penalty
Topic: Security 7:08 pm EST, Nov 19, 2008

An Iranian blogger has been arrested in Iran and charged with spying for Israel. He could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Hossein Derakhshan, known around the world as the father of the Iranian blogosphere, was recently arrested upon returning to Iran from Canada.

Jahan News, an Iranian website affiliated with Iran’s intelligence community, reported on Monday that he admitted to spying for Israel.

Hoder has been discussed on MemeStreams before.

Hoder was on a round table event in Nashville at the 1st Amendment Center that Decius and I participated in.

Hoder arrested in Iran, faces death penalty

China denies hacking into US computers - Yahoo! News
Topic: Security 6:43 pm EDT, Jun 13, 2008

China denied accusations by two U.S. lawmakers that it hacked into congressional computers, saying Thursday that as a developing country it wasn't capable of sophisticated cybercrime.

"Is there any evidence? ... Do we have such advanced technology? Even I don't believe it," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regularly scheduled news conference.

This deflection is actually really quite insulting. They played the developing country card? Seriously?? What a load of crap!

Once information technology is widely available to people who take an interest in it, it's only a matter of time before there are hackers capable of preforming offensive information operations exist. The biggest factor I can think of, is if there are numbers of kids that have easy access to computers. The only universal thread in common with all the rockstar hackers I know is that they all got interested in the stuff real young, and just got more and more devastatingly capable as they matured and got more access to information and other hackers.

No one expects the avenues of Xinjiang to start flowing with 0day anytime soon.. But I assure you, places like Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Guangdong have no shortage of capable hackers. Beijing damn well knows that, and isn't afraid to use it strategically.

Hackers sprout given enough people, time, technology, and access to information. They manifest themselves in different ways. If you have an economy that can support a technology sector, you get one. If you don't, you get cybercrime. If your military wants the capability to do information operations, it will get it. Even the DPRK was claiming to have infowar capabilities at one point..

China denies hacking into US computers - Yahoo! News

Homeland Security tests automated 'Hostile Intent' detector
Topic: Security 3:34 pm EDT, Aug 13, 2007

The Department of Homeland Security is hoping to overcome that limitation by automating the identification of individuals whose behavior suggests they pose a threat via a program dubbed "Hostile Intent."

Pretty soon the "Thought Police" will be able to arrest you for a "Thought Crime".

The software is pretty cool. So is the mood driven PONG. [ Video Link ]

But the spectrum of human emotion can not be lumped into a few categories.

Donnie: Life isn't that simple. I mean who cares if Ling Ling returns the wallet and keeps the money? It has nothing to do with either fear or love.
Kitty Farmer: Fear and love are the deepest of human emotions.
Donnie: Okay. But you're not listening to me. There are other things that need to be taken into account here. Like the whole spectrum of human emotion. You can't just lump everything into these two categories and then just deny everything else!

Homeland Security tests automated 'Hostile Intent' detector

Musical Threats to The State | Will the Jedi Mind Trick work?
Topic: Security 4:03 pm EDT, Apr 27, 2007

In May, London-based Hip Hop artist M.I.A. revealed that she was denied a visa to come work with American music producers on her next album. News reports indicate that the Sri Lankan-born artist was excluded because government officials concluded that some of her lyrics are overly sympathetic to the Tamil Tigers and the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

Here is some background on MIA:

Level 2 is a bit thornier. Arular's lyrics don't seem to mean much, but they're catchy as all hell: "Blaze to blaze, galang-a-lang-a-lang-a/Purple haze, galang-a-lang-a-lang," she sings on "Galang," her debut single from last year. You notice a few other catchphrases, too, like "freedom fighter," "Pull up the people/Pull up the poor," and "I got the bombs to make you blow/I got the beats to make you bang." Whatever—none of this means much, in and of itself. Intrigued, you go to her incredibly psychedelic Web site ( and wait for a Flash animation to load. The graphic shown on the screen while you wait is a cute cartoon image of bundled sticks of dynamite, ready to explode. You read her bio and see that she had a rough childhood; she lived in war-torn Sri Lanka as a kid, and her father wasn't around much. He was in the Tamil Tigers, where his nickname was "Arular"—the title of M.I.A.'s album. You don't know much about the Tamil Tigers, besides the fact that they don't seem to be a baseball team, and read on. It looks like she moved to the U.K. with her mother as a refugee a little over 15 years ago. Since then, she's turned her life around, graduating from a top British art school and making a name for herself by playing with loaded images, tearing them out of context and throwing them onto canvases: bright, Warhol-esque screen prints of war and strife, from guns and bombs to tigers.

So is MIA a threat to state security? Somehow, I don't think so.

As far as idealogical slants go, rock n' roll, hiphop, and just about every other form of popular music has been a dangerous threat to the state at one point or another. Not to go into one of those arguments that contains the phrase "slippery slope", but common people.. [ waves his hand ] These are not the threats to the state you are looking for...

Ladies and Gentlemen, just because we killed Mother Russia in the 80's doesn't mean we have to take her place in the uh-oh's...

Musical Threats to The State | Will the Jedi Mind Trick work?

Open-Source Spying
Topic: Security 6:40 pm EST, Dec  3, 2006

When he was hired by the DIA, he told me recently, his mind boggled at the futuristic, secret spy technology he would get to play with ... If the everyday Internet was so awesome, just imagine how much better the spy tools would be.

But when he got to his cubicle, his high-tech dreams collapsed. "The reality," he later wrote ruefully, "was a colossal letdown."

In this essay for the NYT Sunday magazine, Clive Thompson refers to the white paper by Calvin Andrus, The Wiki and the Blog: Toward a Complex Adaptive Intelligence Community, which was recommended here back in July. (Also at CSI. Slides here.)

Following the threads from this article ...

Next up: the ouster of neocon Zalmay Khalilzad, the manipulative pro-consul in Baghdad, and his replacement by Ryan Crocker, a long-time Arabist who recently served as U.S. ambassador to Syria.

Thomas Fingar [2] "manages the production of the President's Daily Brief." He's an SES and an old China hand. He spoke in August, giving a talk entitled Intelink and Beyond: Dare to Share.

"I think in the future you'll press a button and this will be the NIE," said Michael Wertheimer, assistant deputy director of national intelligence for analysis.

In 2004 Wertheimer wrote in the Washington Post:

To succeed we must demand far less near-term intelligence product from the Signals Intelligence community, give it control of its resources and allow it to plan for a disruptive future, a future that is presaged by videos that show an Afghan warlord exhorting his terrorist followers not to use satellite phones for fear of American capture.

He spoke recently at InfoTech 2006; his presentation, Technology Transformation for Analysis: Year One Report, isn't really online, but others at the conference are here.

According to Michael Wertheimer, who held the most senior technical position at th... [ Read More (0.7k in body) ]

Open-Source Spying

27B Stroke 6 - Its not over for Soghoian.
Topic: Security 3:38 pm EST, Nov 30, 2006

Despite news yesterday that the Justice Department has closed its investigation of the graduate student behind the controversial fake boarding pass generator, Christopher Soghoian may not be out of legal jeopardy yet.

It appears I was too quick to declare a happy ending to the Christopher Soghoian story.

The TSA should be spending more time addressing the issues Soghoian called attention to, then investigating Soghoian. If they officially press charges against him, we should not have any problem making them look like incompetent fools in the media.

27B Stroke 6 - Its not over for Soghoian.

Topic: Security 3:41 pm EST, Oct 29, 2006

Congressman Markey, thank you for taking the time to look closer at this situation, and to hear the voice of the security community.

“On Friday I urged the Bush Administration to ‘apprehend’ and shut down whoever had created a new website that enabled persons without a plane ticket to easily fake a boarding pass and use it to clear security, gain access to the boarding area and potentially to the cabin of a passenger plane. Subsequently I learned that the person responsible was a student at Indiana University, Christopher Soghoian, who intended no harm but, rather, intended to provide a public service by warning that this long-standing loophole could be easily exploited. The website has now apparently been shut down.

“Under the circumstances, any legal consequences for this student must take into account his intent to perform a public service, to publicize a problem as a way of getting it fixed. He picked a lousy way of doing it, but he should not go to jail for his bad judgment. Better yet, the Department of Homeland Security should put him to work showing public officials how easily our security can be compromised.

“It remains a fact that fake boarding passes can be easily created and the integration of terrorist watch lists with boarding security is still woefully inadequate. The best outcome of Mr. Soghoian’s ill-considered demonstration would be for the Department of Homeland Security to close these loopholes immediately."


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