U.S. Army $2.7 Billion Computer System “Doesn’t Work”

The Army’s $2.7 billion computing system designed to share real-time intelligence with troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq has hurt, rather than helped, efforts to fight insurgents because it doesn’t work properly, several analysts who have used the system say. The analysts’ comments mirror concerns raised by the top military intelligence officer in Afghanistan and members of Congress over the past two years in an unsuccessful bid to get the Army to consider alternatives to its portion of the military’s Distributed Common Ground System, according to documents obtained by POLITICO. The Army system, known by the acronym DCGS-A, is a cloud-based computing network designed to collect information from multiple sources for real-time analysis that quickly puts usable intelligence in the hands of battlefield commanders. For example, a commander searching for an insurgent leader would benefit from being able to collect reports of that leader’s location and plot them on a map to make tracking easier.

(U//FOUO) DHS LulzSec Bulletin: Hacktivist Groups Target U.S. and Foreign Networks

The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), through coordination with its partners and monitoring of multiple sources, is tracking reports that members of the hacktivist collectives ‘LulzSec’ and ‘Anonymous’ have combined their efforts and continue to perpetrate cyber attacks targeting U.S. and foreign networks. LulzSec Members have posted statements on the internet claiming the attacks, referred to as ‘Operation AntiSecurity’ (AntiSec), are ‘designed to demonstrate the weakness of general internet security’ and have allowed them to collect massive amounts of data. LulzSec is purported to be a group of former Anonymous members who typically use widely available and crude tools to hijack or deface web pages as a political statement. They also routinely post information regarding planned and ongoing activities on publicly available Internet Relay Chat (IRC) sessions and social networking sites like Twitter. Recent attacks by LulzSec and Anonymous have proven simple Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) are often successful, even against entities who have invested a significant amount of time and capital into designing and securing their information networks.

Center for Copyright Information ISP Copyright Alert System Memorandum of Understanding

While the government maintains a critical role in enforcing copyright law, it should be readily apparent that, in an age of viral, digital online distribution, prosecution of individual acts of infringement may serve a purpose, but standing alone this may not be the only or best solution to addressing Online Infringement. If Online Infringement is to be effectively combated, law enforcement must work with all interested parties, including copyright holders, their licensees, artists (and the guilds, unions and other organizations that represent them), recording companies, movie studios, software developers, electronic publishers, Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”), public interest groups, other intermediaries and consumers on reasonable methods to prevent, detect and deter Online Infringement. Such efforts must respect the legitimate interests of Internet users and subscribers in protecting their privacy and freedom of speech, in accessing legitimate content, and in being able to challenge the accuracy of allegations of Online Infringement. This work should include an educational component because evidence suggests that most informed consumers will choose lawful services and not engage in Online Infringement. This work also should include the development of solutions that are reasonably necessary to effectuate the rights that are granted by copyright without unduly hampering the legitimate distribution of copyrighted works online or impairing the legitimate rights and interests of consumers and ISPs.

ATF “Fast and Furious” Top Gun Trafficking Suspects Were FBI, DEA Informants

The embattled head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told congressional investigators that some Mexican drug cartel figures targeted by his agency in a gun-trafficking investigation were paid informants for the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration. Kenneth E. Melson, the ATF’s acting director, has been under pressure to resign after the agency allowed guns to be purchased in the United States in hopes they would be traced to cartel leaders. Under the gun-trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious, the ATF lost track of the guns, and many were found at the scenes of crimes in Mexico, as well as two that were recovered near Nogales, Ariz., where a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed. In two days of meetings with congressional investigators over the weekend, Melson said the FBI and DEA kept the ATF “in the dark” about their relationships with the cartel informants. If ATF agents had known of the relationships, the agency might have ended the investigation much earlier, he said.

Rupert Murdoch’s UK Tabloid Hacked Phones of Murder Victims, Dead Soldiers, Hugh Grant and More

A phone hacking scandal sweeping Britain made a sordid turn late Wednesday with reports that personal information of the families of soldiers killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan were found in the files of a private detective working for a tabloid newspaper. The personal details of the troops’ families were discovered in the records kept by investigator Glenn Mulcaire, according to the Daily Telegraph, which did not disclose its source. London police have contacted relatives to tell them their names and contact details appear in notebooks belonging to Mulcaire, the Guardian reported.

(U//FOUO) LulzSec Release: Arizona Police Say Hezbollah is in Mexico

Literally meaning “Party of God”, Hezbollah began as a militia in 1982 in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The Shi’a Islamist organization has since grown into a worldwide political and paramilitary network with seats in the Lebanese government, numerous social services programs, long-standing ties with the Syrian and Iranian governments, and an annual income estimated to be anywhere between $200-$400 million. Hezbollah’s main goal is to cast out any form of Israeli rule and/or occupation. Due to the U.S.’ political and financial support of Israel, Hezbollah regards our nation as a viable target. While there is no immediate or confirmed threat to the Tucson area, recent events and the current middleeastern political arena merit a renewed awareness of the group’s capabilities and presence throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Leaked Deposition Videos Show BP Blames Eleven Victims for Deepwater Horizon Explosion

Over three days of sharp questioning, a haggard-looking Tony Hayward shows flashes of anger and remorse as he defends his handling of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in a recent videotaped deposition obtained exclusively by The Daily. (Scroll below to view additional video clips.) Attorneys representing several states and corporations that are suing BP over last year’s massive spill suggest that the former CEO was reckless when it came to safety, insensitive in his conduct following the tragedy and perjurious in his testimony before Congress. When asked about the 11 men who died when the Horizon burst into flames on April 20, 2010, he notes his remorse, but admits he can’t remember all of their names. In the end, he is able to correctly name only one victim, Karl Kleppinger.

DHS National Cybersecurity Center Warns of Crude, But Effective LulzSec/Anonymous/AntiSec Attacks

A bulletin released in late June by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) warning of the recent activities by LulzSec and Anonymous has surfaced online. The unclassified bulletin titled “Hacktivist Groups Target U.S. and Foreign Networks” was recently posted to an unknown online network security website Aisle.net before being subsequently removed. The site it was posted to has also disappeared and now visitors to the domain are greeted with a blank screen. While the full document is not recoverable at this point in time, a cached version of the document’s summary contains a number of surprising admissions regarding the effectiveness of basic techniques utilized by LulzSec/Anonymous.

FBI Surveillance Contributed to Ernest Hemingway’s Suicide

For five decades, literary journalists, psychologists and biographers have tried to unravel why Ernest Hemingway took his own life, shooting himself at his Idaho home while his wife Mary slept. Some have blamed growing depression over the realisation that the best days of his writing career had come to an end. Others said he was suffering from a personality disorder. Now, however, Hemingway’s friend and collaborator over the last 13 years of his life has suggested another contributing factor, previously dismissed as a paranoid delusion of the Nobel prize-winning writer. It is that Hemingway was aware of his long surveillance by J Edgar Hoover’s FBI, who were suspicious of his links with Cuba, and that this may have helped push him to the brink.

UK Communities Secretary Letter to David Cameron Warning of Homelessness Following Welfare Reform

Letter from the personal secretary of UK Communities Secretary Eric Pickles originally leaked to the Observer. It states that part of the current government’s “welfare reform” policies, namely an “overall benefits cap”, in the UK will make 40,000 more families homeless if it is instated, disproportionately affecting those families and creating greater costs for taxpayers.

DHS Signs Agreement with Spanish Government for Cooperation on Homeland Security Matters

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today joined Spanish First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba to sign an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation – sharing best practices to prevent and detect threats in addition to strengthening research and development. “International collaboration in science and technology is a major part of our ongoing efforts to counter threats of terrorism,” said Secretary Napolitano. “This agreement demonstrates concrete and practical steps that the United States and Spain are taking to further strengthen cooperation and to research while sharing cutting-edge technologies to ensure our mutual security.” During today’s meeting, Secretary Napolitano and Minister Rubalcaba reiterated their commitment to foster bilateral cooperation in scientific and technological fields that have a direct impact on national security—underscoring the need to amplify research, evaluation, and preparation of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and anti-explosive protection measures to better protect the flow of commerce and the citizens of both nations.

ICE List of Specially Designated Countries (SDCs) that Promote or Protect Terrorism

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General issued a report in May 2011 titled “Supervision of Aliens Commensurate with Risk” that details Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) detention and supervision of aliens. The report includes a list of Specially Designated Countries (SDCs) that are said to “promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members”. The report states that ICE uses a Third Agency Check (TAC) to screen aliens from specially designated countries (SDCs) that have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members and that the purpose of the additional screening is to determine whether other agencies have an interest in the alien. ICE’s policy requires officers to conduct TAC screenings only for aliens from SDCs if the aliens are in ICE custody.

China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles

Congress has long been concerned about whether U.S. policy advances the national interest in reducing the role of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missiles that could deliver them. Recipients of China’s technology reportedly include Pakistan and countries said by the State Department to have supported terrorism, such as Iran. This CRS Report, updated as warranted, discusses the security problem of China’s role in weapons proliferation and issues related to the U.S. policy response since the mid-1990s. China has taken some steps to mollify U.S. and other foreign concerns about its role in weapons proliferation. Nonetheless, supplies from China have aggravated trends that result in ambiguous technical aid, more indigenous capabilities, longer-range missiles, and secondary (retransferred) proliferation. According to unclassified intelligence reports submitted as required to Congress, China has been a “key supplier” of technology, particularly PRC entities providing nuclear and missile-related technology to Pakistan and missile-related technology to Iran.

Multiple Ships in Gaza Flotilla Reportedly Sabotaged by Israel

Irish activists planning to sail in a flotilla to Gaza have accused Israel of sabotaging their ship. It is the second vessel due to participate that has had its propeller damaged while moored in a Mediterranean port this week. The Israeli military is under orders to prevent an international convoy of ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists and aid from reaching Gaza. Organisers want to challenge Israel’s naval blockade of the territory.

(U//FOUO) DHS Interagency Security Committee Threats to Federal Facilities Assessment

The DBT Report is a stand-alone threat analysis to be used with the Physical Security Criteria for Federal Facilities: An ISC Standard. The document establishes a profile of the type, composition, and capabilities of adversaries, and it is also designed to correlate with the countermeasures in the compendium of standards and to be easily updated as needed. The DBT is an estimate of the threats that face Federal facilities across a range of undesirable events and based on the best intelligence information, Intelligence Community (IC) reports and assessments, and crime statistics available to the working group at the time of publication. Users of the DBT must consider that undiscovered plots may exist, adversaries are always searching for new methods and tactics to overcome security measures, and the lone-wolf adversary remains largely unpredictable.

USAID Kabul Bank Fraud Report Classified/Unclassified Version Comparison

In May 2011, the USAID Office of the Inspector General published a report on the agency’s supervision and oversight of assistance activities in Afghanistan and the Kabul Bank crisis. This report was quickly withdrawn and the Federation of American Scientists’ Steven Aftergood quoted a USAID official as saying that “At the time our report was issued, it was written utilizing information from non-classified sources. After our report had been issued, USAID subsequently classified two documents that were cited in our report. This action resulted in the report becoming classified and we removed it from the web site.” Now that an “Unclassified” version of the report has been released, a comparison of the two versions reveals the “classified” portions of the report that were concealed by USAID. These sections of the report indicate that a material loss review was commissioned by USAID/Afghanistan and completed in May 2010 indicating that $850 million, or 94 percent of the value of the bank’s outstanding loans, had been fraudulently diverted to “insiders” connected with the bank. The concealed sections also indicate that Deloitte and Da Afghanistan Bank failed to provide this report to USAID for nearly six months.

U.S. Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets Suppress Peaceful Uprisings Around the World

A survey of news reports and eyewitness photos from the last six months indicates that tear gas grenades and canisters being used around the world to suppress peaceful demonstrations and prevent political change in despotic regimes are largely made and sold by U.S. companies, often with the consent of the U.S. government. Police and security forces in Egypt, Tunisia, Israel, Bahrain, Yemen and Greece have all utilized U.S.-made tear gas and often other “less lethal” munitions, such as rubber bullets.