Posted: April 15, 2016 in Tech
Tags: Cyber, Surveillance, Tactics, Technology
SOFT ROBOTS THAT can grasp delicate objects, computer algorithms designed to spot an “insider threat,” and artificial intelligence that will sift through large data sets — these are just a few of the technologies being pursued by companies with investment from In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm, according to a document obtained by The Intercept.
Yet among the 38 previously undisclosed companies receiving In-Q-Tel funding, the research focus that stands out is social media mining and surveillance; the portfolio document lists several tech companies pursuing work in this area, including Dataminr, Geofeedia, PATHAR, and TransVoyant.
Those four firms, which provide unique tools to mine data from platforms such as Twitter, presented at a February “CEO Summit” in San Jose sponsored by the fund, along with other In-Q-Tel portfolio companies.
Full Story @ [The Intercept]
Posted: April 14, 2016 in Tech
Tags: Cyber, FBI, Surveillance, Tactics
WASHINGTON — In early 2003, F.B.I. agents hit a roadblock in a secret investigation, called Operation Trail Mix. For months, agents had been intercepting phone calls and emails belonging to members of an animal welfare group that was believed to be sabotaging operations of a company that was using animals to test drugs. But encryption software had made the emails unreadable.
So investigators tried something new. They persuaded a judge to let them remotely, and secretly, install software on the group’s computers to help get around the encryption.
That effort, revealed in newly declassified and released records, shows in new detail how F.B.I. hackers worked to defeat encryption more than a decade before the agency’s recent fight with Apple over access to a locked iPhone. The Trail Mix case was, in some ways, a precursor to the Apple dispute. In both cases, the agents could not decode the data themselves, but found a clever workaround.
Full Story @ [New York Times]
Posted: January 17, 2016 in SWIG
Community-Oriented Policing (COP) is being used with the help of religious groups, businesses, schools etc., to spy on everyone.
Community oriented policing research began in the 1970’s but wasn’t officially implemented until 1994, which means police have been spying on Americans for TWENTY TWO YEARS! The Center for Problem Oriented Policing website is a great resource to find out more about COP.
Police use homeowners associations, religious groups, property managers, businesses, schools, healthcare providers etc. to spy on everyone.
Full Story @ [MassPrivate!]
Posted: January 1, 2016 in Politics
That the very same people who support surveillance of Americans and vehemently denounce efforts by civil libertarians to end the NSA’s scooping up our data indiscriminately are now screaming foul when confronted with their own canoodling with Israeli foreign agents is the kind of hypocrisy we have come to expect from this crowd. Spying on ordinary Americans is fine with them, but when it comes to stopping Israeli espionage – well, that’s just not cool.
Yet a broader point needs to be made. These people have inverted the proper role of government surveillance: they support it when it involves spying on, say, Antiwar.com, as revealed in this FBI memo. But when it comes to perfectly legitimate targets of such intelligence gathering – such as the efforts of a hostile foreign power aimed at scotching delicate negotiations – they’re against it.
And they know perfectly well what they’re doing. Marco Rubio joined his neoconservative backers in denouncing the US “spying on our allies,” and even averred it might be “worse than some people might think,” but in private he defended the surveillance.
More @ [Anti-War]
Posted: January 1, 2016 in Politics
CS-2 has been busy.
Rochester’s two recent high-profile terrorism-related arrests apparently share a common denominator — an informant, known as CS-2, who worked for the FBI in the arrests of both Mufid Elfgeeh and Emanuel Lutchman.
Elfgeeh, a Rochester pizza shop owner, has pleaded guilty to recruiting for the terrorist network, the Islamic State. Lutchman was arrested Wednesday and accused of an ISIS-inspired plot to abduct or kill patrons at a Rochester bar on New Year’s Eve.
FBI spokeswoman Maureen Dempsey declined to discuss the Lutchman investigation or to comment about whether an informant, also referred to as a confidential source, in the two cases is the same, but court papers make clear that he likely is.
And the informant’s activities could add to a refrain that has become common after similar FBI arrests of alleged terrorist sympathizers: Was the target of the investigation a true threat and terrorist sympathizer or was he instead pushed toward an illegal plot by informants paid by federal law enforcement?
More @ [Democrat & Chronicle]
Posted: January 1, 2016 in Tech
While DARPA is often described as “one hundred geniuses connected by a federal travel agent”, don’t assume it’s all for the betterment of man. DARPA was also the source of some of the most outlandish weapons systems the world has ever seen. DARPA’s current projects include a nifty little project titled Persistent Close Air Support. It’s goal is to provide soldiers in the field the ability to mark a location on a map display and then have a remote-controlled A-10 Warthog kill everything at that location. In a project that that sounds like something out of the X-Files, DARPA attempted to train honey bees to find landmines. When that didn’t work, they decided to build insect cyborgs. The agency is also working to build powered exoskeletons for soldiers to wear in combat. That high tech blimp the NSA lost recently? DARPA developed it to spy on everyone all the time.
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Posted: October 18, 2015 in SWIG
Tags: OSINT, Tactics, Technology, Tradecraft
VICE News ran a story about a gang in Detroit, Michigan that was nabbed partly due to their use of social media. This of course caught my attention so I clicked the link to the indictment papers and began to have a read. I find court documents completely fascinating. It’s a weird hobby I will admit. However, I am always one of those people that likes to read more into a story, dig for background, and understand more of the peripheral players, locations and other details. Indictment papers are one of those documents that can help you do all of this. Aside from learning far more about news stories that interest you, this can be exceedingly useful if you are in law enforcement or you’re a journalist and a particular story pops up that interests you. Sometimes digging through a completely different case than one you’re currently working on can give you ideas, or help to hone some of your search skills. As well, a lot of folks taking OSINT training have a tough time finding something to apply their skills to, they can only creep on their own accounts or friends for so long before it becomes boring and repetitive.
There are cases where you can write code to kick off the whole process (such as what I did with Bin Ladin’s Bookshelf) but there are other times that you are going to want to spend some time figuring out where to target your automation. This requires a bit of critical reading, and an eye for extracting relevant pieces of information. Let’s use these indictment papers and do some quick Twitter investigating to see if we can locate other interesting people potentially associated to the folks that are locked up.
Full Story @ [Automating OSINT]
Waco, Texas – The Waco Twin Peaks biker massacre case just took an extremely ominous, and seemingly corrupt turn. A police detective for the Waco Police Department was selected to serve as the head of the 12 person grand jury, which is likely to decide who gets indicted in the case.
Detective James Head, a 26-year police veteran, was wearing his police badge and pistol when he was sworn in Wednesday, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.
When asked by the Waco Tribune-Herald if he had played a role in the Twin Peaks investigation, Head responded, “Not really.” With Head going on to admit that his selection was kind of “unusual.”
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Posted: July 11, 2015 in Politics
Federal agencies are circumventing constitutional obligations by utilizing a secret fusion center where illegally obtained information is passed on to be used against American citizens. All federal law enforcement agencies are teaching their agents how to fabricate evidence and commit perjury under oath if necessary in order to protect and conceal the illegal sources of their investigations.
Attorney Robert Bernhoft and Former IRS Special Agent Joe Banister tell you how this unprecedented case will affect you.
U.S. defense lawyers to seek access to DEA hidden intelligence evidence
The Bernhoft Law Firm