Archive for September 2013
The University of Edinburgh has bowed to pressure from students and campaign groups and is withdrawing funding from Ultra Electronics. The company, headquartered at Greenford in Middlesex, makes navigation controls for the US fleet of Predator and Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles.
Armed with Hellfire missiles, they are sent on covert “targeted killing” missions against suspected terrorist cells in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. But according to the Bureau for Investigative Journalism at City University in London, more than 430 strikes since 2002 have killed at least 428 civilians, of whom 173 were children.
- Edinburgh University ends funding for US drone component maker (theguardian.com)
- U.S. Assassination Drone Strike Kills 3 People (voiceoftruthusa.wordpress.com)
- Robots, drones and self-driving cars, oh my (siliconbeat.com)
- Four killed in US drone strike in NWaziristan (nation.com.pk)
- Blurred Lines Banned at University of Edinburgh (newsfeed.time.com)
- We Seriously Need To Stop Calling Them All ‘Drones’ (embargozone.com)
(CNN) — The National Security Agency’s internal watchdog detailed a dozen instances in the past decade in which its employees intentionally misused the agency’s surveillance power, in some cases to snoop on their love interests.
A letter from the NSA’s inspector general responding to a request by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, lists the dozen incidents where the NSA’s foreign intelligence collection systems were abused. The letter also says there are two additional incidents now under investigation and another allegation pending that may require an investigation.
At least six of the incidents were referred to the Justice Department for possible prosecution or additional action; none appear to have resulted in charges. The letter doesn’t identify the employees.
Several of the cases involve so-called “Loveint” violations.
In one case, detailed by the NSA’s watchdog, a civilian intelligence employee assigned overseas was found to have used the NSA’s signals intelligence collection system to listen to the phone conversations on nine phone numbers belonging to foreign women from 1998 to 2003 without any valid reason. The signals intelligence system is used to spy on foreign targets for national security reasons.
A National Security Agency employee was able to secretly intercept the phone calls of nine foreign women for six years without ever being detected by his managers, the agency’s internal watchdog has revealed.
The unauthorised abuse of the NSA‘s surveillance tools only came to light after one of the women, who happened to be a US government employee, told a colleague that she suspected the man – with whom she was having a sexual relationship – was listening to her calls.
One of the cases emerged in 2011 ,when an NSA employee based abroad admitted during a lie-detector case that he had obtained details about his girlfriend’s telephone calls “out of curiosity”. He retired last year.
In a similar case, from 2005, an NSA employee admitted to obtaining his partner’s phone data to determine whether she was “involved” with any foreign government officials. In a third, a female NSA employee said she listened to calls on an unknown foreign telephone number she discovered stored on his cell phone, suspecting he “had been unfaithful”.
In another case, from two years ago, which was only discovered during an investigation another matter, a woman employee of the agency confessed that she had obtained information about the phone of “her foreign-national boyfriend and other foreign nationals”. She later told investigators she often used the NSA’s surveillance tools to investigate the phone numbers of people she met socially, to ensure they were “not shady characters”.
The case of the male NSA employee who spied on nine women occurred between 1998 and 2003. The letter states that the member of staff twice collected communications of an American, and “tasked nine telephone numbers of female foreign nationals, without a valid foreign intelligence purpose, and listened to collected phone conversations”.
- NSA workers spied on lovers (cnn.com)
- NSA employees used surveillance system to spy on spouses, lovers (rawstory.com)
- NSA: Some used spying power to snoop on lovers (wikileaks-forum.com)
“The position of the United States has been and remains very clear, and that is that Assad must go,” Susan Rice said in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS about the ongoing chemical weapons negotiations with Syria.
“He has inflicted horrific violence on his country that’s spilled over into the region. So our strong view is that there isn’t a viable future for Syria that is governed by Assad,” she added.
A renewed fighting has erupted between Malian troops and members of the Tuareg rebel group in Kidal in the north.
The gunmen attacked soldiers guarding a bank in the rebel stronghold on Sunday, sparking fears that the violence could escalate after peace talks with the rebels broke down, AFP reported.
“A few meters (yards) away, police officer Nejib Bel Hacen al-Zwei died when a homemade bomb exploded in his car,” al-Zayedi added.
Another police officer was also shot dead outside his Benghazi home.
Military officers, soldiers, doctors, and judges have been targeted in a number of recent attacks in Libya.
The attack was carried out during the early hours of Monday, when a killer drone targeted the tribal area near the Afghan border.
A senior Pakistani security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the three were killed by two missiles. The incident took place hours after another drone killed at least six people in the northwestern tribal area of Dargamandi in North Waziristan.
On September 22, seven people died in a US killer drone strike in the same area.
Washington claims its drone strikes target militants, although casualty figures show that Pakistani civilians often fall victim to the attacks.
The killing of Pakistani civilians, including women and children, has strained relations between Islamabad and Washington. The strikes have also triggered massive protests in Pakistan.
September 23, 2013
Yesterday, Monday 23rd September, a mob of Israeli settlers invaded the roof of a Palestinian family in Hebron, attacked several Palestinians and international activists and beat a 15-year-old unconscious, leading to hospitalisation.
At approximately 5pm a group of Israeli settlers and Jewish tourists entered the roof of the Abu Shamsiyeh family without permission after they had already tried to force their way into another family’s house in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood. After international activists confronted the invading group and insisted that nearby soldiers remove the trespassers, they eventually left the roof but continued to verbally harass Palestinians and internationals present.