Today’s walk on the dark side begins with this from Nextgov:
Sen. Feinstein Pushes to Delay Release of CIA Torture Report
Sen. Dianne Feinstein wants a classified report released on Bush-era “enhanced interrogation” policies. She just doesn’t want it out quite yet.
The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder earlier this month urging the Justice Department to delay its compliance with a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking the disclosure of her panel’s so-called torture report. Feinstein argued the report is not ready for the public because negotiations are ongoing between her and the CIA over the document’s heavily redacted material.
“Not only would it be inappropriate for the department to release documents related to the committee’s study prior to the committee’s own release, but the result of the ongoing negotiations will likely positively affect the redactions in the documents being sought,” Feinstein wrote in a letter dated Aug. 12.
From the San Francisco Chronicle, gee, ya think so?:
Police often provoke protest violence, UC researchers find
The violence that turns a small-town protest into a fiery national spectacle like the one that has played out this month in Missouri is often unwittingly provoked by police, according to researchers at UC Berkeley.
The research team, which studied clashes between police and activists during the Occupy movement three years ago, found that protests tend to turn violent when officers use aggressive tactics, such as approaching demonstrators in riot gear or lining up in military-like formations.
Recent events in Ferguson, Mo., are a good example, the study’s lead researcher said. For nearly two weeks, activists angered by a white police officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager have ratcheted up their protests when confronted by heavily armed police forces.
From the Wire, eyes on:
Ferguson Police Department Implements Body Cameras
Police officers in Ferguson began wearing body cameras over the weekend, as residents continue to protest the fatal police shooting of an unarmed teenager three weeks earlier.
About 50 body cameras were donated by two security firms, Safety Vision and Digital Ally, last week, after talks with the Ferguson Police Department in response to differing stories coming out the of the shooting on Aug. 9 of Michael Brown Jr. by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson.
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said that officers are adjusting to working with body cameras, but that the overall response is positive now that nearly the entire department has been trained.
From Sky News, Cold War 2.0 arms up:
Nato Plans ‘Spearhead’ Force To Face Russia
- The alliance unveils plans for a “high-readiness force” in eastern Europe amid more evidence of Russian aggression in Ukraine
Nato is set to create a “high-readiness” force and stockpile military equipment in Eastern Europe as a bulwark against potential Russian aggression, the alliance’s chief has said.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the proposed new force could be comprised of several thousand troops contributed to on a rotating basis by the 28 Nato countries.
Backed by air and naval assets, he said the unit would be a “spearhead” that could be deployed at very short notice to help Nato members defend themselves against any threat, including from Russia.
From the London Telegraph, waterboarding included?:
British jihadists to be forced to attend deradicalisation programmes, says Cameron
- David Cameron announces moves to reverse Islamist brainwashing of British jihadists in new court order controls
British jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria will be forced to attend “deradicalisation” programmes to reverse their warped brainwashing, David Cameron announced.
Dangerous fanatics made subject to court controls will be ordered to engage in anti-extremism schemes as part of a raft of new measures to combat the risk of British Islamists returning to the UK.
The move comes amid growing concern over the threat posed by Britons who have joined the terror group Isil in Syria and Iraq.
More from International Business Times:
British Prime Minister David Cameron Proposes Seizing Passports Of Suspected ISIS Militants
British Prime Minister David Cameron Monday proposed expansion of police powers and a deradicalization program to head off terror plots hatched by returning militants. An estimated 500 Britons are suspected of fighting alongside Islamic State militants, the Guardian reported.
The Conservative Party’s Cameron proposed seizing the passports of suspected militants and forcing terror suspects into deradicalization programs to reverse their fanaticism. The Telegraph reported suspects also could be forced to move from their hometowns. In addition, airlines would be required to provide more information about passengers.
Addressing the House of Commons, Cameron called the idea of British citizens swearing allegiance to militant groups such as the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, “abhorrent.” He said he is looking for ways to keep them from returning to the U.K.
From RIA Novosti, a dissent:
Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Says UK Rogue State, Danger to World
The United Kingdom as a rogue state and a danger to the world, a former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray said.
“The British Government is deeply, deeply immoral. They don’t care how many people they kill abroad if it advances them. Anybody who votes No [to Scottish independence] is voting to support a pathological state which is a danger in the world, a rogue state and a state prepared to go to war to make a few people wealthy,” Murray said in a speech made ahead of an historic vote on Scottish independence to be held in just three weeks.
He told an open public meeting in St Andrews that the actions he witnesses as a senior diplomat had changed his “world view” and said it was now “impossible to be proud of the United Kingdom.”
From the Intercept, today’s allies, yesterday’s enemy:
How the NSA Helped Turkey Kill Kurdish Rebels
Documents from the archive of U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden that Der Spiegel and The Intercept have seen show just how deeply involved America has become in Turkey’s fight against the Kurds. For a time, the NSA even delivered its Turkish partners with the mobile phone location data of PKK leaders on an hourly basis. The U.S. government also provided the Turks with information about PKK money flows, and the whereabouts of some of its leaders living in exile abroad.
At the same time, the Snowden documents also show that Turkey is one of the United States’ leading targets for spying. Documents show that the political leadership in Washington, D.C., has tasked the NSA with divining Turkey’s “leadership intention,” as well as monitoring its operations in 18 other key areas. This means that Germany’s foreign intelligence service, which drew criticism in recent weeks after it was revealed it had been spying on Turkey, isn’t the only secret service interested in keeping tabs on the government in Ankara.
Turkey’s strategic location at the junction of Europe, the Soviet Union, and the Middle East made the future NATO member state an important partner to Western intelligence agencies going back to the very beginning of the Cold War. The Snowden documents show that Turkey is the NSA’s oldest partner in Asia. Even before the NSA’s founding in 1952, the CIA had established a “Sigint,” or signals intelligence, partnership with Turkey dating back to the 1940s.
From the Associated Press, blowback:
Turkey summons US diplomat over spying report
The Turkish foreign ministry has summoned the most senior U.S. diplomat in the country for clarification of a report about American and British spying in Turkey.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent said the U.S. charge d’affaires and Turkish officials had discussed the report Monday. German magazine Der Spiegel and the online magazine The Intercept said that documents provided by former U.S. National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden show that Turkey was a high priority intelligence target for U.S. and British intelligence services.
According to Turkish news wires, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan downplayed the importance of the report, saying that all major countries spied on each other. An earlier report that Germany’s main intelligence agency had also targeted Ankara drew a more angry response from the Turkish government.
From TechWeekEurope, another front:
NATO Set To Ratify Cyber-Defence Declaration
- NATO is set to add cyber-threats to its fundamental treaty – but reportedly has little idea about the computer arsenals of its member countries
NATO has confirmed that it plans to add cyber-attacks to the list of threats that would trigger a collective response when leaders of the organisation meet in Newport, Wales, later this week.
However, exactly what would constitute such an attack remains ambiguous, and NATO reportedly has little in the way of cyber-response capacity. The organisation, the headquarters of which is in Brussels, also lacks clear information on the cyber-weaponry of member states such as the US and the UK, which would be needed to form a detailed cyber-strategy, according to reports.
More from PCWorld , with a techie twist:
Europol launches international cybercrime task force
Europol launched a cybercrime task force Monday to fight online crime in the EU and other countries.
The Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) will be piloted for six months and hosted at Europol’s European CyberCrime Center (EC3), the organization said in a news release.
The J-CAT will coordinate international investigations to take action against key online threats and top targets, such as underground forums and malware, including banking Trojans, Botnets and online fraud, Europol said.
EC3, the EU Cybercrime Taskforce, the FBI and the U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) are part of the initiative. Andy Archibald, deputy director of the National Cyber Crime Unit from the NCA will lead the task force.
From SecurityWeek, Tweet that!:
US Cyber-Warriors Battling Islamic State on Twitter
The United States has launched a social media offensive against the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, setting out to win the war of ideas by ridiculing the militants with a mixture of blunt language and sarcasm.
Diplomats and experts are the first to admit that the digital blitz being waged on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube will never be a panacea to combat the jihadists.
But US officials see social media as an increasingly crucial battlefield as they aim to turn young minds in the Muslim world against groups like IS and Al-Qaeda.
From the London Daily Mail, searching for a cause:
Did iCloud’s ‘Find My iPhone’ function help hacker steal ‘nude’ photos of Jennifer Lawrence and 100 other celebrities? Flaw may have allowed 4chan hacker to break into their accounts
- Nude photographs that purportedly show multiple celebrities leaked online
- The photos were obtained through Apple’s iCloud and published on 4chan
- When activated, iCloud automatically stores users’ photos and data online
- Flaw in its ‘Find My iPhone’ function reportedly undermined its security
- Twitter is apparently shutting down accounts disseminating the pictures
- Lawrence’s spokesman confirmed the nude photographs were published
- Kate Upton’s attorney called leaked pictures ‘an outrageous violation’
- Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead confirmed the photos of her are real
- But not all ‘nude’ photographs that have been published are genuine
- Hacker claims to have images of other stars, which have not been posted
From SecurityWeek, post-equine escape barn door repair:
Apple Patches Vulnerability Possibly Linked to Celebrity Picture Leaks
Apple has patched a flaw that may be linked to the leak of salacious celebrity photos on the Web.
The flaw existed in the ‘Find My iPhone’ service. In order to use it, hackers would need to know the username of the account they are targeting. The vulnerability allowed attackers to guess passwords repeatedly without being locked out and without notifying the account owner. If the password was successfully guessed, the attacker could then access the iCloud account.
A tool for brute forcing the accounts was posted on GitHub. News of the patch followed reports that nude photos of celebrities such as ‘Hunger Games’ actress Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton had been leaked on the Internet, and Anonymous and 4chan users claimed to have taken images from roughly 100 different celebrity accounts.
“There have been claims that iCloud may be involved, but it’s tricky to confirm even if all of the celebrities affected use Apple devices,” blogged security researcher Graham Cluley. “Many folks are blissfully unaware about iPhone photos being automatically sent to an Apple iCloud internet server after it is taken. That’s great in some ways – it means it’s easily accessible on our other Apple devices – but might be bad in others.”
BBC News clouds the issue:
‘Cloud’ concerns after celebrity picture leaks
- Jennifer Lawrence Jennifer Lawrence was one of the celebrities who had images leaked
Experts have raised concerns over the security of “cloud” storage sites following the leak of intimate pictures of celebrities.
It is understood some of the images were obtained from services such as Apple iCloud that back up content from devices on to the internet. Apple is understood to be looking into the issue.
One expert said that private data “becomes much more difficult to control” when using cloud services.
“It is important for celebrities and the general public to remember that images and data no longer just reside on the device that captured it,” said Ken Westin, security analyst at Tripwire.
“Although many cloud providers may encrypt the data communications between the device and the cloud, it does not mean that the image and data is encrypted when the data is at rest. If you can view the image in the cloud service, so can a hacker.”
PandoDaily gets scathing:
The celebrity photo leak is yet another example of Apple’s irresponsible approach to security
Apple might face the ire of several celebrities whose personal photographs were stolen and published over the weekend. In the latest example of the company’s irresponsible security practices, the images — at least those that haven’t been called forgeries by several celebrities and their spokespersons — are thought to have been taken from their subjects’ iCloud accounts.
Now, it’s clear that most of the blame should fall on the person who decided to violate the only shred of privacy that these celebrities had left, and on those who shared the images afterwards. This would never have been an issue if this person didn’t believe that personal photographs of people who happen to be famous should be stolen, skimmed through, and released to the Web.
But it seems that Apple will share in the blame, as the leak was followed by the revelation that before Sunday the company didn’t prevent brute force attacks, which gain access to accounts by submitting random passwords until the right one is found, from working on the iCloud website.
From TheLocal.se, Yar, matey:
Pirate Bay Swede’s trial set for final stage
The mother of Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has told The Local about her son’s “suffering” in jail ahead of the final stages of his trial.
Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and his 21-year-old Danish co-defendant are set to appear in Frederiksberg Court in Copenhagen in the latest development in the largest hacking case in Danish history.
The two men are accused of stealing social security numbers from Denmark’s national driving licence database, illegally accessing information in a Schengen Region database and hacking into police email accounts.
From Reuters, dronal executions:
Al Qaeda in Yemen executes three ‘spies’ for guiding drone strikes
Al Qaeda militants in Yemen executed three local men in the easterly Hadramout province on Monday whom they suspected of assisting U.S. drone strikes, security sources told Reuters.
In a statement posted online, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) acknowledged the threat it faced from air attacks by unmanned U.S. drones, which require on-the-ground intelligence to guide them in.
AQAP said it had captured a group of spies, adding: “The greatest help they give to the crusaders against the holy warriors is the placing of trackers for American spy planes.”
The Los Angeles Times covers more blowback:
Gunmen seize government ministries as Libya spirals further into chaos
Armed militiamen have seized control of most Libyan government ministries in the capital, Tripoli, the transitional government acknowledged early Monday, in the latest sign of a dramatic deterioration of Libya’s trappings of statehood.
Energy-rich Libya has slipped ever deeper into chaos since the toppling of longtime dictator Moammar Kadafi in 2011. The armed groups that were allies in the fight to depose him have turned on one another, fighting for oil wealth and political control.
The government and the elected parliament last month decamped to the eastern city of Tobruk, near the Egyptian border, and Islamist-linked militias from the western city of Misrata hold sway in the capital, having driven out rival armed groups. Libya now has two competing parliaments, with each declaring the other illegitimate.
And from UCLA, a sobering question:
In our digital world, are young people losing the ability to read emotions?
Children’s social skills may be declining as they have less time for face-to-face interaction due to their increased use of digital media, according to a UCLA psychology study.
UCLA scientists found that sixth-graders who went five days without even glancing at a smartphone, television or other digital screen did substantially better at reading human emotions than sixth-graders from the same school who continued to spend hours each day looking at their electronic devices.
“Many people are looking at the benefits of digital media in education, and not many are looking at the costs,” said Patricia Greenfield, a distinguished professor of psychology in the UCLA College and senior author of the study. “Decreased sensitivity to emotional cues — losing the ability to understand the emotions of other people — is one of the costs. The displacement of in-person social interaction by screen interaction seems to be reducing social skills.”
After the jump, off to Asia and political arfrest and the Game of Zones, including more tensions in Pakistan and an Anonymous attack, signs of a deal for Japanese boats for Aussie sailors, hints of Hong Kong turmoil, a drone exposition in China, an assimilation push driven by Beijing, an ideological crackdown on Chinese campuses, more evocation of the “Anti-Japanese War,” Indo/Japanese security deals, and the emerging Sino/Russian partnership. . . Continue reading