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Category Archives: Unfiled

The Sony Hack: Attribution Problems, and the Connection to Domestic Surveillance

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Friday, December 19, 2014 at 5:19 PM

The FBI said today of the Sony hack: As a result of our investigation, . . . the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions.  While the need to protect sensitive sources and methods precludes us from sharing all of this information, our conclusion is . . .
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The Sony Hack: Will the United States Take Countermeasures Against North Korea?

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Friday, December 19, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Now that the United States has concluded that North Korea was responsible for the hack into Sony’s computers, it has begun to make noises about responding to that hack in some way. If the United States wants to make its response consistent with international law, how should it think about how to proceed? Mike Schmitt posted an . . .
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District Court Suppresses Pole Camera Surveillance Footage

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Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Twitter brings news of this interesting little order in United States v. Vargas.  The court’s opinion was authored by Judge Edward F. Shea and opens: The first duty of government is the safety of its people—by Constitutional means and methods. Technology, including the means for covert surveillance of individuals through the use of a hidden video camera . . .
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A Coffee Shop on the Israeli-Al Qaeda Border

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 5:13 PM

The last time I was on the Israeli-Syrian border looking at the ruined Syrian city of Quneitra was thirty years ago. I was fifteen and taking a summer course in Israel. And an Israeli soldier manning a border position was explaining to my class the mechanics of this tense but oddly stable border, over which . . .
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The Heroism of Effective Logistics: A Dispatch from Kerem Shalom

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 5:15 PM

We witnessed a moving scene today—if the loading and unloading of trucks amid looming concrete security barriers can ever really be moving: A major joint Palestinian-Israeli operation to route goods into the Gaza Strip. We’re not talking here about politics. The politics of the Kerem Shalom crossing are endless and complicated, with Palestinians and many . . .
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DOJ releases six FISC documents on StellarWind

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Monday, December 15, 2014 at 6:44 PM

The Department of Justice has released six Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) documents related to the surveillance activities originally initiated by President George W. Bush following the attacks of September 11, 2001—including the so-called “StellarWind” program. As reported by Charlie Savage of the New York Times, the documents shed new light on the legal debate . . .
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Thoughts on the SSCI Report, Part I: Introduction and Overview

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Monday, December 15, 2014 at 4:00 PM

I have now spent enough quality time with the SSCI interrogation report—and with minority views and the CIA response—that I am ready to begin commenting upon it. This is not to say I have finished reading it all; far from it. A plane flight to Israel and a lot of other hours have only gotten . . .
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Our Collective Privacy Panic

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Monday, December 15, 2014 at 11:30 AM

We are told there is a privacy crisis.  The Snowden revelation and other such things have given the sense that we are in a crisis.  I think what we have is a privacy panic.  What I would call the Snowden left, joined by the Tea Party right, are churning this up way past any reasonable . . .
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Over 700 Million People Taking Steps to Avoid NSA Surveillance

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Monday, December 15, 2014 at 9:02 AM

There’s a new international survey on Internet security and trust, of “23,376 Internet users in 24 countries,” including “Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States.” Amongst the findings, 60% of Internet . . .
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Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority, and the CIA: Part Five

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Friday, December 12, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Here is the fifth and final installment in our running, side-by-side comparison of the twenty findings and conclusions of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Study on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program—along  with responses by the Committee Minority and the CIA. Summaries of Study findings seventeen through twenty can be found below.  By way of reminder, . . .
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The Onion’s Minotaur Video

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Friday, December 12, 2014 at 12:17 PM

No news source in any medium captures the CIA interrogation debate more fully than this video from the Onion, which bears reposting this week:

The SFRC Vote on the Menendez AUMF

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Friday, December 12, 2014 at 12:15 PM

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-8 yesterday to approve Senator Menendez’s draft AUMF for ISIL.  As endorsed by the Committee, the bill: — Authorizes the President to use force against ISIL or against “associated forces or associated persons”  (a phrase defined to mean means “individuals and organizations fighting for or on behalf of [ISIL] . . .
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Senator Feinstein Rebuts CIA on Twitter

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Friday, December 12, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Yesterday, as CIA Director John Brennan spoke about the release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Study of CIA Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, Senator Dianne Feinsten (D-CA) live tweeted her responses. You can find the full set of tweets from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Chairman below the break.

The UK’s Article 51 Letter on Use of Force in Syria

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Friday, December 12, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Several weeks ago, the United Kingdom submitted an Article 51 letter to the Security Council providing notice that the UK was taking measures against ISIS “in support of the collective self-defence of Iraq as part of international efforts led by the United States.”  The letter further stated that the UK “fully supports these international efforts, . . .
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Dianne Feinstein Responds to Director Brennan

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Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 9:45 PM

The text is here: Feinstein Response to CIA Director on Detention, Interrogation Program Washington—Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement after CIA Director John Brennan spoke about the CIA’s detention and interrogation program: “CIA Director Brennan’s comments were not what I expected. They showed that CIA leadership is prepared to . . .
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Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority and the CIA: Part 3

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Below you will find the third in our running comparison of broad areas of agreement and disagreement as between the Executive Summary to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Study on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, the report by the Committee’s Minority, and the response by the CIA itself.   The Study, you’ll recall, sets forth . . .
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Senator Mark Udall Now Speaking on the Senate Floor

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM

We only have a C-Span link thus far, but will embed video, and post a transcript, when and if one or the other becomes available. The outgoing Democrat and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee is addressing the Committee’s Study, released yesterday; and, among other things, the search of Committee staffers’ computers by the CIA. . . .
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Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority and the CIA: Part 2

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 9:46 PM

Below, you will find the second installment in our ongoing effort to identify, in summary form, key areas of dispute as between the SSCI, the SSCI minority, and the CIA with regard the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. As you surely know by now, all three today released long-anticipated reports regarding the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and . . .
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Happening Now: Secretary of State John Kerry Testifies on ISIS AUMF

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Secretary of State John Kerry is currently testifying in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on an authorization of the use of military force against the Islamic State. You can view the testimony live here. Secretary Kerry’s opening remarks can be found here.

NSA Hacking of Cell Phone Networks

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Monday, December 8, 2014 at 3:01 PM

The Intercept has published an article—based on the Snowden documents—about AURORAGOLD, an NSA surveillance operation against cell phone network operators and standards bodies worldwide. This is not a typical NSA surveillance operation where agents identify the bad guys and spy on them. This is an operation where the NSA spies on people designing and building . . .
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