A helluva a lot happening in the world of espionage and security saber-rattling.
Today’s walk on he dark side begins with this excellent depiction of out [resent plight from Lee Judge of the Kansas City Star:
From BBC News, a reminder that it’s not just the omni-bugging NSA that’s helping stir up the tempest:
Two terror suspects sue Poland over ‘CIA torture’
The European Court of Human Rights is hearing a case brought by two terror suspects who accuse Poland of conniving in US human rights abuses.
The two men are currently held at the US Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
From Threatpost, as expected:
UN: Mass Surveillance Violates Universal Human Rights
The United Nations has joined the growing chorus of people, organizations and activists denouncing government mass surveillance of citizens without cause and says that such programs are a violation of basic human rights.
The Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural – Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly has adopted a draft resolution affirming that arbitrary surveillance and collection of personal information violate the universal human right to privacy and expression.
The NSA occupied center stage in today’s British legislative extravaganza, as did the newspaper that’s done so much to expose it. From The Guardian, the paper in question:
Guardian will not be intimidated over NSA leaks, Alan Rusbridger tells Mps
Editor tells parliamentary committee that stories revealing mass surveillance by UK and US have prompted global debate
The Guardian again, with the old Red-baiter classic:
MPs’ questions to Alan Rusbridger: do you love this country?
Key extracts from the Guardian editor’s appearance before the home affairs select committee over the impact of NSA leaks
And the response, via The Guardian:
Guardian will not be intimidated over NSA leaks, Alan Rusbridger tells MPs
Editor tells parliamentary committee that stories revealing mass surveillance by UK and US have prompted global debate
The Guardian again, with a critical question:
MPs ask MI5 boss to justify claim that NSA leaks endangered national security
Keith Vaz, chairman of home affairs select committee, says spy chief Andrew Parker has been summoned to give evidence
And from USA TODAY, the shape of things to come:
Guardian: We have published 1% of Snowden leak
The editor of the Guardian said Tuesday that his newspaper has published just 1% of the material it received from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, and denied that the paper had placed lives or national security at risk.
And then there’s this very nasty little jab, via the London Telegraph:
Guardian journalists could face criminal charges over Edward Snowden leaks
Journalists at The Guardian newspaper are being investigated by anti-terror police over their roles in the Edward Snowden leaks, a senior policewoman confirms
Cressida Dick, an assistant commissioner at Scotland Yard, confirmed for the first time that detectives were examining whether staff at the newspaper had committed an offence.
“When it absolutely, positively has to. . .” From Sky News:
Guardian Editor Sent Secret Files By FedEx
Alan Rusbridger defends claims he aided terrorists by publishing top-secret documents leaked by a former NSA contractor.
Meanwhile, and about time, from The Guardian:
Labor wants debate on legal oversight of intelligence gathering
‘What we need is a reasoned discussion,’ says shadow attorney general Mark Dreyfus
Reuters covers some blowback:
Tighten EU data laws, say top MEPs
An influential group of MEPs have called for stricter data protection laws.
It came during another European Parliament hearing regarding the Edward Snowden snooping leaks.
German conservative MEP Axel Voss said: “The issue of data protection should these days almost always be on the agenda, because it is important, because we are already lagging behind the technological development and we therefore need to find answers. And the sooner the Council engage in this issue the better it is for all of us. “
The Guardian responds to blowback down under:
Guardian Australia fiercely defends its reporting on spy agencies
Attacks on the publication of stories based on NSA documents threaten to shut down debate on the issues that matter
And it’s just not Guardian stories that have the Aussies on edge. Now there’s a major spy flap developing in a nanotechnology lab at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the government’s premier research facility. From the Sydney Morning Herald:
Espionage fears at CSIRO
Australian intelligence and security agencies are investigating a suspected industrial espionage case at the CSIRO, the nation’s top scientific organisation.
In revelations that will further test Australia’s relations with China, federal police and intelligence officials are investigating a Chinese national who until last week worked in the CSIRO’s highly sensitive nanotechnology laboratory in Melbourne.
But wait! There’s yet another scandal, revealed by a raid conducted by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. From the Syndey Morning Herald:
ASIO raids office of lawyer Bernard Collaery over East Timor spy claim
ASIO officers have allegedly detained a man and raided the office of a lawyer who claims that Australian spies bugged the cabinet room of East Timor’s government during negotiations over oil and gas deposits.
Attorney-General George Brandis confirmed last night that he had issued a search warrant for a Canberra address and that ASIO had executed it, seizing a number of documents “on the grounds that [they] contained intelligence related to security matters”
More from The Guardian:
Timor-Leste spy case: ‘witness held, and lawyer’s office raided by ASIO’
Retired Australian Secret Intelligence Service agent and wife searched in Canberra while lawyer’s office is raided, say lawyers
From the Copenhagen Post, another spy scandal actually ends up with a significant head rolling:
Leader of intelligence agency quits
Jakob Scharf quits after intense media and political scrutiny over his ability to lead the domestic intelligence agency, PET
The Copenhagen Post headlined a story last month that played a key role in the spooky resignation, involving a COINTELPRO-style covert op against a Danish winger, the head of the nationalist Dansk Folkeparti:
PET in hot water for allegedly spying on Pia Kjærsgaard
The head of the domestic intelligence agency stands accused of using Kjærsgaard’s calendar to try to squash the former DF leader’s visit to Christiania
Meanwhile, Uncle Sam’s digital eyes want your fleshly ears, via iScienceTimes:
‘Soft’ Biometric Cameras Are Watching: Govt. Intelligence Hopes To Use Cameras To Recognize People By The Shape Of Their Ears
And in France, the panopticon is about the make a great leap forward, reports RT:
France mulls new internet spying powers
A proposed law in France could allow the authorities to access and gather internet user data without judicial approval. The legislation has been slammed by activists as going “against the principles of democracy” and eroding civil liberties.
Meanwhile, the ongoing security crisis in Asia between waged across the East China Sea grows hotter. From McClatchy Interactive:
Analysts: Tensions in Asia could snowball
The rising tension this week in the East China Sea could force the Obama administration to revive its plan for a “pivot to Asia,” a revamped engagement with China and its neighbors that’s been overshadowed by Middle East conflicts and other crises.
South China Morning Post covers some soothing efforts from Grinnin’ Joe:
Biden wants Japan, China to have communication channel over air defence zone
US No 2 says Beijing and Tokyo need system to avoid an incident over East China Sea escalating
More, and with less emphasis on the smooth schmoozin’, from the Japan Times:
U.S. backs Japan against ADIZ: Biden
Abe assured of support against China gambit, prodded on TPP
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received the assurance of visiting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday that Washington stands behind Japan as it responds to China’s recent declaration of an air defense identification zone in the East China Sea that encompasses the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands.
While Want China Times evokes a nightmare:
PLA dreams of turning moon into Death Star, says expert
Experts in China are discussing the possibility of the People’s Liberation Army to establish a missile base on the moon following the successful launch of the Long March-3B rocket carrying the Chang’e-3 lunar rover on Dec. 1, according to the Beijing Times.
Want China Times again, with another great leap forward:
First carrier-based fighter enters production in China
The Shenyang J-15, China’s first carrier-based fighter designed by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, has entered mass production and has been received by various units of the PLA Navy Air Force, the Beijing-based Sina Military Network reported on Dec. 3.
Want China Times yet again, with one more leap:
Russia to develop weapons with China: Military Parade
Moscow is preparing to develop a joint weapons system with Beijing, according to Military Parade, a Russian-language military website, citing Russia’s deputy defense minister Anatoly Antonov at a press conference on Nov. 29.
While Gizmodo covers a retreat:
Accused of Spying, Huawei CEO Says Company Is “Exiting the US Market”
It looks like China’s Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, is sick and tired of the United States accusing it of cyberspying. In an interview with the French press, the company’s founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said they’re throwing in the towel stateside.
The South China Morning Post covers arousal:
Patriotic post calling for Chinese to be on guard against ‘Western anti-China powers’ goes viral
An emotive nationalist post titled You are nobody without the motherland has gone viral online as major Chinese state-owned media hailed the message as a spontaneous expression of patriotism.
From the Japan Times, the national security state strikes again:
China to try anti-corruption activists
Three Chinese anti-corruption activists who unfurled a banner calling for government officials to declare their assets were to be tried Tuesday for “illegal assembly,” their lawyers said, despite an official campaign against graft.
An anti-corruption drive launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping has been heavily publicized in state-run media, but the ruling Communist Party keeps a tight grip on political dissent.
And in Japan, the resistance grows against a key piece of legislation in the emerging national security state machine. From the Japan Times:
Public protests continue against state secrets bill
With the contentious state secrets bill slated to clear the Upper House this week, citizens have been holding daily protests in front of the Diet building, denouncing the law as emblematic of the “rise of fascism.”
More from Jiji Press:
Witnesses Express Concern about Secrecy Bill before Japan Upper House
All three witnesses who spoke before Japan’s House of Councillors on a state secrets protection bill on Tuesday expressed concerns about the legislation.
And NHK WORLD:
Global human rights groups protest secrecy bill
Five international human rights organizations protested a Japanese government bill to protect state secrets in a joint news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday.
The chief of Human Rights Watch’s Tokyo office, Kanae Doi, referred to the Tshwane Principles, which are global guidelines to balance state secrets and the right to know.
And from JapanToday, a cinematic allusion:
Abe depicted as Charlie Chaplin character in protest over state secret bill
If you happened to have been around the west exit of Shinjuku Station last week, you might have seen this poster hanging around. In it we can clearly see a photo of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe done up to look like Charlie Chaplin in the film “The Great Dictator.” Around him are the words “Take back Japan” and “Prewar.”
The poster in question, via the Japan Times:
From NHK WORLD, resistance meets stone wall:
Suga seeks opposition support for bill
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has stressed there is no change in the government’s plan to have the secrecy protection bill made into law during the current Diet session scheduled to end on Friday.
Back in Europe, a Spanish security measure rammed through by the neoliberal reigning Popular Party draws more heat. From El País:
Council of Europe slams PP bill that hikes fines at public rallies
Citizens Security Law violates right to assembly, says rights commissioner
Meanwhile Sky News, covers deadly dirty tricks from the past:
IRA And Irish Police ‘Colluded Over Murders’
Two RUC officers murdered by the IRA were ambushed following a leak from an Irish police station, a damning report finds.
And Spiegel covers another security move, this one too aimed at a ghost from the past:
NPD Ban Bid: Germany’s Risky Push to Outlaw Far-Right Party
Germany launched a new push to outlaw the NPD party on Tuesday amid doubts whether the legal bid will succeed, and whether a ban would significantly curb the country’s violent far-right scene. But if the motion fails, right-wing extremism will flourish, analysts warn.
From PCWorld, something really, really scary:
Researchers create malware that communicates via silent sound, no network needed
When security researcher Dragos Ruiu claimed malware dubbed “badBIOS” allowed infected machines to communicate using sound waves alone—no network connection needed—people said he was crazy. New research from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing, and Ergonomics suggests he’s all too sane.
And from The Verge, the corporate drone rush continues:
UPS researching delivery drones that could compete with Amazon’s Prime Air
Flying parcel-carriers are the next logical frontier for delivery companies
The Hill covers legislative resistance:
Door-to-door drones spook lawmakers
Amazon’s planned door-to-door drone deliveries sparked lawmaker worries Monday about the need for new privacy rules to protect consumers from thousands of drones that might soon be buzzing overhead.
And for our final item, some security in swearing via DutchNews.nl:
Blasphemy law will be scrapped
Blasphemy will be removed from the statute books following a majority vote in the upper house of parliament on Tuesday.
However, a second motion was voted through which allows for another law to be found which can be adjusted to protect people from serious insult to their religion, the Nos reports.