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Posts Tagged surveillance
With its 130-foot wingspan, Triton will provide high-altitude, real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) from a sensor suite that supplies a 360-degree view at a radius of over 2,000 nautical miles, allowing monitoring from higher and farther away than any of its competitors.
From New York Times:
The lawsuit could set up an eventual Supreme Court test. It could also focus attention on this disclosure amid the larger heap of top secret surveillance matters revealed by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who came forward Sunday to say he was their source.
MIT asks the question in an article about how much information individuals create about themselves.
Much of this data is invisible to people and seems impersonal. But it’s not. What modern data science is finding is that nearly any type of data can be used, much like a fingerprint, to identify the person who created it: your choice of movies on Netflix, the location signals emitted by your cell phone, even your pattern of walking as recorded by a surveillance camera. In effect, the more data there is, the less any of it can be said to be private, since the richness of that data makes pinpointing people “algorithmically possible,” says Princeton University computer scientist Arvind Narayanan.
“Terrorism Tradecraft is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
By Scott Stewart
One of the distinctive features of Stratfor’s terrorism and security analysis is its focus on the methodology of attacks. Of course, identifying those responsible for an attack is important, especially in ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to justice. But Stratfor believes that analyzing the way in which an attack was conducted is more important because it can prevent future attacks and protect potential victims. It is likewise important to recognize that even if a terrorist is killed or arrested, other groups and individuals share terrorist tactics. Sometimes this comes from direct interaction. For example, many of the Marxist terrorist groups that trained together in South Yemen, Lebanon and Libya in the 1980s employed similar tactics. Otherwise, a tactic’s popularity is derived from its effectiveness. Indeed, several terrorist groups adopted airline hijacking in the 1960s and 1970s.
The mechanics of terrorism go far beyond target selection and the method of attack. This is especially true of aspiring transnational terrorists. Basic military skills may be helpful in waging terrorist attacks in areas where a militant group has access to men, weapons and targets — such was the case with Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi, Libya — but an entirely different set of skills is required to operate in a hostile environment or at a distance. This set of skills is known as terrorist tradecraft. Read the rest of this entry »
From Threat Level:
The carriers said they responded to police emergencies, subpoenas and other court orders. They did not clearly say how many times they responded to probable-cause warrants. That’s because much of Americans’ mobile-phone data is not protected by the Fourth Amendment.
The reports showed that AT&T, the nation’s second largest carrier, received about 125,000 requests from the authorities in 2007 — mushrooming to more than 260,000 last year.
Verizon, the nation’s largest carrier… said it also received about 260,000 requests last year…
Sprint said it has received…500,000 requests last year.
…T-Mobile, declined to divulge how many requests it gets.
McCone said the company (AT&T) employs more than 100 full-time staffers and “operates on a 24/7 basis for the purpose of meeting law enforcement demands.”
From Military Times:
Boeing said Monday that the 28-minute flight of the Phantom Eye began at 6:22 a.m. Friday. The aircraft reached an altitude of 4,080 feet and a cruising speed of 62 knots before landing at the California desert base.
From Wired’s Danger Room:
The Phantom Eye’s size means the drone can be loaded up with a whopping 450 lbs. of sensors and cameras — which will come in handy for toting the military’s forthcoming spy gear, like Gorgon Stare, designed to spy on “city-size” areas, or the Army’s ARGUS sensor, which collects the equivalent of 79.8 years of video footage each day. Combine that capacity with a lengthy loiter time, and you’ve got a high-flying spy system that can peek on entire cities for days at a time.
By Scott Stewart
For the past three weeks we have been running a series in the Security Weekly that focuses on some of the fundamentals of terrorism. First, we noted that terrorism is a tactic not exclusive to any one group and that the tactic would not end even if the jihadist threat were to disappear. We then discussed how actors planning terrorist attacks have to follow a planning process and noted that there are times during that process when such plots are vulnerable to detection.
Last week we discussed how one of the most important vulnerabilities during the terrorism planning process is surveillance, and we outlined what bad surveillance looks like and described some basic tools to help identify those conducting it. At the end of last week’s Security Weekly we also discussed how living in a state of paranoia and looking for a terrorist behind every bush not only is dangerous to one’s physical and mental health but also results in poor security. This brings us to this week, where we want to discuss the fundamentals of situational awareness and explain how people can practice the technique in a relaxed and sustainable way.
Situational awareness is very important, not just for personal security but as a fundamental building block in collective security. Because of this importance, Stratfor has written about situational awareness many times in the past. However, we believe it merits repeating again in order to share these concepts with our new readers as well as serve as a reminder for our longtime readers. Read the rest of this entry »
This is a report from STRATFOR:
By Scott Stewart
As we noted last week, terrorist attacks do not materialize out of thin air. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Those planning terrorist attacks follow a discernable process referred to as the terrorist attack cycle. We also discussed last week how terrorism planners are vulnerable to detection at specific points during their attack cycle and how their poor surveillance tradecraft is one of these vulnerable junctures.
While surveillance is a necessary part of the planning process, the fact that it is a requirement does not necessarily mean that terrorist planners are very good at it. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at surveillance and discuss what bad surveillance looks like. Read the rest of this entry »
According to the Military Times the UAV, that Iran claims to have, did not suffer any kind of hostile activity:
Loren Thompson, an analyst at the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Va., said that the Iranians have no way to detect or engage the stealthy Sentinel.
“It would be almost impossible for Iran to shoot down an RQ-170 because it is stealthy; therefore, the Iranian air defenses can’t see it,” Thompson said. “Partly for the same reason, it is exceedingly unlikely that they used a cyber attack to bring down the aircraft.”
From: Threat Level
Britain’s largest police force has been using covert surveillance technology that can masquerade as a mobile phone network to intercept communications and unique IDs from phones or even transmit a signal to shut off phones remotely, according to the Guardian.
The system, made by Datong in the United Kingdom, was purchased by the London Metropolitan police, which paid $230,000 to Datong for “ICT hardware” in 2008 and 2009.
The portable device, which is the size of a suitcase, pretends to be a legitimate cell phone tower that emits a signal to dupe thousands of mobile phones in a targeted area. Authorities can then intercept SMS messages, phone calls and phone data, such as unique IMSI and IMEI identity codes that allow authorities to track phone users’ movements in real-time, without having to request location data from a mobile phone carrier.
A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service verified to CNET that the agency has done business with Datong, but would not say what sort of technology it bought from the company.
The FBI is known to use a similar technology called Triggerfish, which also pretends to be a legitimate cell tower base station to trick mobile phones into connecting to it. The Triggerfish system, however, collects only location and other identifying information, and does not intercept phone calls, text messages, and other data.
From: Threat Level
A legal challenge questioning the constitutionality of a federal law authorizing warrantless electronic surveillance of Americans inched a step closer Wednesday toward resolution.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the second time rejected the Obama administration’s contention that it should toss a lawsuit challenging the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act. Among other things, the government said the plaintiffs — Global Fund for Women, Global Rights, Human Rights Watch, International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association, The Nation magazine, PEN American Center, Service Employees International Union and others — don’t have standing to bring a constitutional challenge because they cannot demonstrate that they were subject to the eavesdropping or suffered hardships because of it.