Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Clara Spera
Thursday, March 5, 2015, 8:33 AM

Tensions between the United Kingdom and Germany may be on the rise as a result of Germany’s ongoing parliamentary inquiry into foreign spying. The Telegraph explains that the parliamentary official charged with heading the investigation, Mr. Patrick Sensburg, believes that his phone has been hacked by British intelligence services.

In other spying news, new Snowden documents reveal that New Zealand has been listening in on Indonesia its Pacific Island neighbors. Reuters tells us that the small island country has shared information about countries like Fiji and the Solomon Islands with its allies, including the United States.

News continues to swirl around Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account and server during her tenure as Secretary of State. The New York Times traces the evolution of Ms. Clinton’s private email capabilities, the possible justifications for them. Mashable points out that most cyber experts do not agree as to how secure Ms. Clinton’s private server is. And, according to the AP, it seems the Benghazi door is being reopened in light of the new email scandal.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter may already be running into problems within his own agency. The Daily Beast reports that Secretary Carter is none-too-pleased about military officials telling the press that the U.S. and Iraqi led coalition in Syria would be ready to reclaim major ISIS strongholds as early as this April. According to Secretary Carter, those reports may have been too optimistic.

As our readers will be aware, former CIA Director David Petraeus has pled guilty to leaking classified information on to his biographer and mistress, Paula Broadwell. There are some who think that Petraeus is getting off relatively easy, like the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board; it argues that a “double-standard” has been created for Petraeus and that the former intelligence chief should be facing jail time.

A man is in custody after firing shots at the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland on Tuesday. The shooter did not do any damage, and it’s still unclear if he knew what he was shooting at. The Verge has the details.

Democrats in Congress have taken a step back on intervening with Iran’s nuclear program until after the March 24 negotiation deadlines between Iran and the United States. President Obama’s administration feared that any Congressional activity to review a deal with Iran would stall or even halt the ongoing negotiations, so the effective “freeze,” put in place by nine Democratic senators and one Independent, will give the negotiation parties a bit more time to come to an agreement. The Times has the story.

The Military Times reports that there will be 41,000 jobs opening to women in special operations units of the Army, National Guard and Army Reserve. The positions had previously been open to “men only” but that restriction has now been lifted.

The U.S. Ambassador to South Korea was attacked in Seoeul yesterday. CNN reports that Ambassador Mark Lippert is in stable condition after being slashed with a knife. The Korean present, Park Geun-hye was quick to condemn the act of violence, calling it not an attack on one man, but against the “South Korea – U.S. alliance.”

ICYMI: Yesterday, on Lawfare

Yishai and Jennifer released the newest installment of our Middle East Ticker.

Paul offered his opinion on the Hillary email situation, arguing that it might not be such a big deal after all, but admitted that we can’t be sure just yet.

Paul also highlighted the Supreme Court’s oral argument in Patel v. Los Angeles to rebuff the argument that the EU cares more about privacy that the US.

Jack gave us a quick and dirty review of Bruce Schneier’s new book, Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World. Buy it here!

Bobby introduced our newest series, the Intelligence Studies Essay. Professor Stephen Slick of The University Texas-Austin penned the first installment, on “Lessons that NCTC Holds for CTIIC.”

And, the 56th episode of the Steptoe Cyerlaw Podcast is out, featuring an interview with Siobhan Gorman, formerly of the Wall Street Journal and now at the Brunswick Group.

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