Monthly Archives: January 2014

Attention fliers: Canada’s electronic spy agency is following you – new Snowden leaks

Documents released by US whistleblower Edward Snowden show the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) used airport Wi-Fi to track passengers from around the world.

Travelers passing through a major Canadian airport were potentially caught up in a vast electronic surveillance net, which allowed the nation’s electronic spy agency to track the wireless devices of thousands of airline passengers – even for days after they had departed the terminal, a document obtained by CBC News revealed.

The document shows the spy agency was then able to track travelers for a week or more as the unwitting passengers, together with their wireless devices, visited other Wi-Fi “hot spots” in locations across Canada, and across the border at American airports.

The CBS report said any place that offered Wi-Fi internet access, including “airports, hotels, coffee shops and restaurants, libraries, ground transportation hubs” was vulnerable to the surveillance operation.

After reviewing details of the leaked information, one of Canada’s leading authorities on internet security says the secret operation was almost certainly illegal.

“I can’t see any circumstance in which this would not be unlawful, under current Canadian law, under our Charter, under CSEC’s mandates,” Professor Ronald Deibert, an internet security expert at the University of Toronto, told CBC News.

It remains unclear from the leaked data how CSEC was able to infiltrate so many wireless devices to see who was using them, both on Canadian territory and beyond.

Deibert said the intelligence agency must have gained direct access “to at least some of the country’s main telephone and internet pipelines,” thereby gaining access to an enormous amount of emails and phone calls placed by Canadians.

Meanwhile, for those who are comforted by the thought that the spy agency was only collecting the metadata on Canadian wireless devices, which excludes the personal content of communications, Deibert had some sobering news.

Metadata is “way more powerful that the content of communications. You can tell a lot more about people, their habits, their relationships, their friendships, even their political preferences, based on that type of metadata,” he told CBC News.

The CSEC is specifically tasked with gathering foreign intelligence by intercepting overseas phone and internet traffic, and is forbidden by law from collecting information on Canadians – or foreigners in Canada – without a court warrant.

As CSEC Chief John Forster recently stated: “I can tell you that we do not target Canadians at home or abroad in our foreign intelligence activities, nor do we target anyone in Canada.

“In fact, it’s prohibited by law. Protecting the privacy of Canadians is our most important principle.”

However analysts who were privy to the document say that airline passengers in a Canadian airport were clearly on the territory of Canada.

CSEC spokesperson Lauri Sullivan told the Star, an online Canadian news outlet, that the “classified document in question is a technical presentation between specialists exploring mathematical models built on everyday scenarios to identify and locate foreign terrorist threats.”

Disclosure of the program puts those techniques at risk, she said.

Teaming up with NSA

Early assessment of the leaked information indicates the passenger tracking operation was a trial run of a powerful new software program CSEC was developing with help from its American partner, the National Security Agency.

The technology was to be shared with the so-called ‘Five Eyes’ surveillance bloc composed of Canada, the United States, Britain, New Zealand and Australia.

In the document, CSEC described the new spy technology as “game-changing,” saying it could be used for powerful surveillance on “any target that makes occasional forays into other cities/regions.”

Sources told CBC News the “technologies tested on Canadians in 2012 have since become fully operational.

CSEC claims “no Canadian or foreign travelers’ movements were ‘tracked,'” although CBC News questioned in its report why the comment “put the word “tracked” in quotation marks.”

Canada’s two largest airports — Toronto and Vancouver — both say they have never supplied CSEC or other federal intelligence agency with information on airport passengers’ Wi-Fi communications.

Alana Lawrence, a spokesperson for the Vancouver Airport Authority, was quoted as saying it provides free Wi-Fi access at the facility, but does “not in any way store any personal data associated with it,” not has it ever received a request from a spy agency for the data.

US-based company, Boingo, the largest private supplier of Wi-Fi services at Canadian airports, says it has not cooperated with Canada’s intelligence agency’s on any surveillance operations.

“To the best of our knowledge, [Boingo] has not provided any information about any of our users to the Canadian government, law enforcement or intelligence agencies,” spokesperson Katie O’Neill told CBC News.

Ontario’s privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian admitted she is “blown away” by news of the secret operation.

“It is really unbelievable that CSEC would engage in that kind of surveillance of Canadians,” Cavoukian told the Canadian news agency. “This resembles the activities of a totalitarian state, not a free and open society.”

Attention fliers: Canada’s electronic spy agency is following you – new Snowden leaks — RT News.

Intelligence chief confirms Arab shift from U.S. over ‘policies on Iran, Syria and Egypt’

clapper

WASHINGTON — The U.S. intelligence community, in its first such assessment, has warned of a loss of America’s Arab allies.

The intelligence community said the Gulf Cooperation Council could be the first Arab allies to move away from the United States.

In a report to Congress, the 16-agency community cited widespread opposition to Washington’s rapproachment with Iran.

“Some of the transitioning governments are more skeptical than before the Arab Spring about cooperating with the United States,” the assessment said.

The assessment, submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Jan. 29, marked the first acknowledgement of an Arab shift away from Washington. Over the last few months, the administration of President Barack Obama has played down such warnings from Saudi Arabia, the leader of the GCC and Iran’s neighbor.

National Intelligence director James Clapper warned that Arab allies, resentful of Washington’s interference, could reduce security cooperation with the United States. Clapper said this could hamper counter-insurgency efforts to stop Al Qaida attacks from the Middle East.

They are concerned about protecting sovereignty and resisting foreign interference, which has the potential to hamper U.S. counter-terrorism and other efforts to engage transitioning governments,” Clapper said.

“Additionally, the unhappiness of some Arab Gulf states with U.S. policies on Iran, Syria and Egypt might lead these countries to reduce cooperation with the United States on regional issues and act unilaterally in ways that run counter to U.S. interests.”

Clapper said the threat of an Arab shift came amid an increasing presence of Al Qaida in the Middle East, particularly Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. He said Al Qaida was training thousands of foreigners to fight in Syria, skills that could be employed to destabilize their native countries.

“It’s clear our collection capabilities are not as robust perhaps as they were because they [Al Qaida] have generally gotten smarter about [avoiding] how we go about our business and detect them,” Clapper said.

Intelligence chief confirms Arab shift from U.S. over ‘policies on Iran, Syria and Egypt’ | World Tribune.

UK nuclear workers told to stay home as radioactivity rises

A view of the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site near Seascale in Cumbria, England

Britain’s Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site has told non-essential workers to stay home Friday due to the detection of abnormally high levels of radiation.

The radiation spike was detected by one of the monitors at the north end of the partially decommissioned site.

Sellafield management have sought to reassure the public that radiation levels are not high enough to warrant any emergency. Apart from the reduced staffing levels, the site is operating normally, the company said.

“In response to an operational condition on the Sellafield site a conservative and prudent decision has been taken, to operate the site at reduced manning levels, commensurate with safe operations,” the company said in a statement.

UK Energy Ministry said it is in contact with Sellafield and sees no reason to believe that the incident is more serious than what the company says it is.

Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site in Cumbria, northwest England, is currently undergoing decommission.

A Cold War legacy, Sellafield holds dozens of tons of plutonium waste from Britain’s nuclear weapons program. One of its buildings is dubbed “the most hazardous industrial building in western Europe.”

The site attracts anti-nuclear campaigners, partially due to a number of radiation leaks the site has experienced over the decades.

Sellafield closure was announced in June 2012, following concerns over environmental damage and terrorist threats. It has cost British taxpayers at least £67.5 billion ($106 billion).

 

Deadly January: Violence across Iraq kills over 1000+, mostly civilians

Suicide bombings and other violence across Iraq have claimed lives of more than 1,000 people, mostly civilians, in the past month, making January the deadliest month since April 2008.

A total of 1,013 people – 795 civilians, 122 soldiers and 96 policemen – died as a result of violence, according to data compiled by the health, interior and defense ministries.

Sectarian and political violence have gripped Iraq for months, but the situation has been worsened by recent fighting in Iraq’s western Anbar province.

The release of the January’s death toll comes amid a month-long standoff between the Iraqi army and anti-government fighters in the western province of Anbar. So far, the standoff has forced more than 140,000 people to flee their homes, the UN refugee agency said.

Earlier this week, Iraq’s fugitive Vice-President Tariq Hashemi said that there is a threat that an armed stand-off could spread to other parts of the country as Sunni Muslim opposition to Shiite Prime Minister Noori Al Maliki grows.

“I’m not optimistic about the future … I think this spark in Anbar will spread to other provinces,” Hashemi said in an interview with the Reuters news agency.

The violence in Anbar escalated at the beginning of January with Iraqi security forces, Sunni tribesmen al-Qaeda-linked groups fighting for control of the cities of Falluja and Ramadi.

January’s overall death toll is the highest released by the ministries since April 2008, when 1,073 people were killed. A resurgence of sectarian and political violence claimed the lives of 8,868 people in 2013, according to estimates from the United Nations.

Deadly January: Violence across Iraq kills over 1000+, mostly civilians — RT News.

Yahoo! Mail hacked, passwords and user info nabbed

Hackers broke into Yahoo!’s free email service, stealing the passwords and usernames of an undisclosed number of the firm’s 273 million accounts worldwide.

The company disclosed scant details of the coordinated hack attack, saying it had teamed up with federal law enforcement in the US, where 81 million accounts are registered, to investigate the security breach.

In a blog post on the company’s site, Yahoo! said “the information sought in the attack seems to be names and email addresses from the affected accounts’ most recent sent emails.”

Yahoo! said it recently discovered the breach, and suspects that malware was employed to take the user information from an undisclosed third party database.

“We have no evidence that they were obtained directly from Yahoo!’s systems,” wrote Jay Rossiter, the senior vice president in charge of Yahoo!’s platforms and personalization products.

Apart from seeking out and ultimately prosecuting those responsible for the attack, Rossiter said Yahoo! had “implemented additional measures to block attacks against Yahoo!’s systems.”

The company also reset the passwords of those affected, and sent out text messages to them so that they could “re-secure their accounts.”

Yahoo! is reportedly the second-largest worldwide email service, after Google’s Gmail, making it a likely target for hackers and online scammers.

The firm recognized this threat, acknowledging “security attacks are unfortunately becoming a more regular occurrence.”

“It’s an old trend, but it’s much more exaggerated now because the programs the bad guys use are much more sophisticated now,” Avivah Litan, a security analyst at the technology research firm Gartner, told AP. “We’re clearly under attack.”

Analysts said that access to email accounts is part and parcel of more serious breaches which target online banking and shopping. Security experts have warned users against using one password across multiple sites, although this does not account for the problem of email accounts being used to reset passwords.

For example, hackers could attempt to log into a user’s bank account and ask for a password reminder to be sent by email.

Collecting as much information about an individual as possible also facilitates identity theft.

In December, a hardware outage in one of Yahoo!’s storage systems left around 1 million users without access to their email accounts.

Yahoo! Mail hacked, passwords and user info nabbed — RT News.

Al-Sissi écrit son nom dans le stable – Libération

Promu maréchal lundi et quasi candidat à la présidentielle, le chef des armées incarne pour une très large partie de la population l’équilibre perdu de l’Egypte, malgré sa politique répressive.

En Egypte, la semaine a été une nouvelle fois marquée par la violence : plus de 60 morts lors du troisième anniversaire du 25 janvier (date de la chute de Hosni Moubarak), des attaques terroristes visant les forces de sécurité et le meurtre, mardi, du général de police Mohamed Saïd, qui a tout d’un assassinat politique. Dans ce contexte chaotique, de nombreux Egyptiens placent tous leurs espoirs dans un homme : Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, 56 ans, ministre de la Défense et chef des armées, promu lundi au grade suprême de maréchal. Le jour même, l’armée a annoncé qu’elle soutenait …

Al-Sissi écrit son nom dans le stable – Libération.

الخارجية المصرية : على واشنطن احترام القضاء المصري

السفير بدر عبد العاطي

السفير بدر عبد العاطي

دعت الخارجية المصرية الإدارة الأميركية إلى “احترام القضاء المصري واستقلاله الكامل”، رافضة التشكيك في استقلالية القضاء المصري المشهود له بالنزاهة والإستقلال

وأعلن الناطق الرسمي باسم الخارجية المصرية السفير بدر عبد العاطي في تصريحات عدة أنه “من غير المقبول لأي دولة أو طرف خارجي التدخل في أعمال القضاء المصري الذي لا بد من احترام أحكامه واستقلاله الكامل”، مشيرا إلى أن “إحالة عدد من المتهمين على محكمة الجنايات جاء بناء على قرار من النيابة العامة التي هي جزء من النظام القضائي المصري الذي يتمتع بالإستقلالية الكاملة ولا يمكن للحكومة أن تتدخل في عملها”

وأكد عبد العاطي الذي كان يرد على تصريحات المتحدثة باسم الخارجية الأميركية وما تضمنته تقارير أخرى حول إحالة عدد من الصحافيين المصريين والأجانب يعملون لصالح قناة الجزيره على محكمة الجنايات أن “القضاء المصري يوفر كل الضمانات القانونية للمتهمين وأهمها إجراء محاكمات عادلة ونزيهة وتولي محامين مهمة الدفاع عن المتهمين فضلا عن وجود عدة درجات للتقاضي، فإذا صدر حكم بالإدانة فيحق للمتهم بطبيعة الحال الإستئناف عليه فضلا عن أن كل المحاكمات تتم أمام القاضي الطبيعي ووفقا للقانون العادي ولا توجد أي إجراءات استثنائية”

كما جدّد المتحدث الرفض الكامل لمحاولة أي طرف خارجي التشكيك في استقلالية القضاء المصري المشهود له بالنزاهة والاستقلال

Tony Blair backs Egypt’s government and criticises Brotherhood

Former British PM says Muslim Brotherhood was stealing Egypt’s revolution and army intervention has put it on right path

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Cairo Thursday 30 January 2014

Tony Blair said the army had intervened after the Brotherhood tried to take Egypt ‘away from its basic values of hope and progress’.

Tony Blair has given staunch backing to Egypt’s government following a meeting on Wednesday with its army leader, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

In a television interview on Thursday morning, Britain’s former prime minister said Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood had stolen Egypt’s revolution, and the army who deposed him last July had put the country back on the path to democracy.

“This is what I say to my colleagues in the west,” said Blair, visiting Egypt as a representative of the UN, the US, the EU and Russia in their attempts to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. “The fact is, the Muslim Brotherhood tried to take the country away from its basic values of hope and progress. The army have intervened, at the will of the people, but in order to take the country to the next stage of its development, which should be democratic. We should be supporting the new government in doing that.”

Morsi, was removed by Sisi following days of mass protests. His many critics said Morsi had authoritarian leanings and that his removal was essential to prevent Egypt from eventually turning into an autocratic theocracy.

In his television interview, Blair said : “Right here in Egypt I think it is fundamental that the new government succeeds, that we give it support in bringing in this new era for the people of Egypt. And, you know, we can debate the past and it’s probably not very fruitful to do so, but right now I think it’s important the whole of the international community gets behind the leadership here and helps.”

Blair’s comments are in keeping with his previous comments on the region. In the past,

At the time of Mubarak’s overthrow in 2011, Blair warned that his removal would lead to the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood: “They are extremely well organised and well funded whereas those people who are out on the street at the moment, many of them will be extremely well intentioned people but they’re not organised in political parties yet.”

أول استقالة في الحكومة التونسية الجديدة

وزيرة السياحة التونسية المستقيلة، آمال كربول

وزيرة السياحة التونسية المستقيلة، آمال كربول

بعد ساعات فقط من تأدية الحكومة التونسية الجديدة اليمن الدستورية تقدمت وزيرة السياحة آمال كربول باستقالتها على خلفية تعرضها لانتقادات عنيفة بسبب مشاركتها في برامج تعليمية في إسرائيل

وتعد هذه أول استقالة في الحكومة الجديدة، ولم يتضح بعد إن كان رئيس الوزراء مهدي جمعة قد قبل استقالتها أم لا

وكانت الحكومة الجديدة برئاسة مهدي جمعة أدت اليمين الدستورية أمام الرئيس منصف المرزوقي، بعدما حصلت على ثقة المجلس الوطني التأسيسي، لتضطلع بمهمة قيادة البلاد حتى إجراء انتخابات عامة

وقال المرزوقي في كلمة له إن على الحكومة الجديدة متابعة أعمال سابقاتها وتحمل مسؤولياتها تجاه البلاد، مقرا بأن هناك عقبات كثيرة في انتظارها

وصوت 149 نائبا في المجلس التأسيسي من أصل 193 شاركوا في اقتراع الثقة بـ”نعم” على الحكومة التي حلت محل الحكومة المستقيلة التي كانت تقودها حركة النهضة الإسلامية برئاسة على العريض

وقال رئيس المجلس التأسيسي، مصطفى بن جعفر، إن تونس بمنحها الثقة للحكومة الجديدة تبعث برسالة قوية بأنها تمضي نحو بناء الديمقراطية

وتتكون الحكومة من 21 وزيرا و7 كتاب – وزراء- دولة بينهم 3 سيدات وزيرتان وكاتبة دولة

وكان يتعين أن تحظى الحكومة بموافقة “الأغلبية المطلقة” من نواب المجلس التأسيسي (109 نواب من إجمالي 217)، وذلك بحسب “التنظيم (القانون) للسلط العمومية” الصادر نهاية 2011

ويوم الأحد صادق المجلس التأسيسي في تونس على الدستور الجديد للبلاد بعد 3 سنوات من اندلاع الثورة وهي خطوة أساسية في دعم الانتقال الديمقراطي بعد ما سمى الربيع العربي

مراسلو الجزيرة المتهمون بـ”خلية الماريوت” أمام جنايات مصر

Aljazeera

أصدرت سلطات التحقيق المصرية قراراً الأربعاء، بإحالة 20 من مراسلي قناة “الجزيرة”، بينهم أربعة أجانب، المتهمين في القضية المعروفة باسم “خلية الماريوت”، إلى محكمة جنايات القاهرة

تضمن أمر الإحالة، الصادر عن النائب العام، المستشار هشام بركات، اتهام مراسلي الفضائية القطرية بـ”ارتكاب جرائم التحريض على مصر”، و”اصطناع مشاهد وأخبار كاذبة”، وبثها عبر قناة الجزيرة، وقنوات تلفزيونية أخرى

وأورد موقع “أخبار مصر”، نقلاً عن وكالة أنباء الشرق الأوسط، أن قرار النائب العام تضمن إحالة ثمانية متهمين محبوسين بصفة احتياطية، إلى المحاكمة، مع ضبط وإحضار المتهمين الـ12 الهاربين

أثناء التحقيق مع المتهمين أمام النيابة، أصدرت الأخيرة إذناً بضبط المتهمين الهاربين، باعتبار أن بعضهم ينتمي إلى “جماعة إرهابية”، في إشارة إلى جماعة “الإخوان المسلمين”

كما اتهمت المراسلين الأجانب، وهم بريطانيان وأسترالي وهولندية، بتشكيل “شبكة إعلامية”، ضمت 20 شخصاً من المصريين والأجانب، اتخذت من فندق “الماريوت” الشهير، بوسط القاهرة، مركزاً لعملياتها

Al Jazeera international detained journalists From : L-R – Peter Greste, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed

Al Jazeera international detained journalists From : L-R – Peter Greste, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed

وأسندت النيابة إلى المتهمين المصريين ارتكاب جرائم “الانضمام إلى جماعة إرهابية، مؤسسة على خلاف أحكام القانون” ، و”الاعتداء على الحرية الشخصية للمواطنين”، و”الإضرار بالوحدة الوطنية والسلام الاجتماعي”

كما أسندت إلى المتهمين الأجانب “الاشتراك مع المتهمين المصريين بطريق الاتفاق والمساعدة، في إمداد أعضاء تلك الجماعة بالأموال والأجهزة والمعدات والمعلومات، مع علمهم بأغراض تلك الجماعة”

وكانت الأجهزة الأمنية قد ضبطت معدات تصوير ومونتاج وبث، وأجهزة حواسب آلية، قالت إن المتهمين استخدموها في تجميع المواد الإعلامية، والتلاعب فيها، لإنتاج مشاهد غير حقيقية، للإيحاء بالخارج أن ما يحدث في مصر حرب أهلية، تنذر بسقوط الدولة

Smile with Muslim Brotherhood and pretending fake death in their channel Al Jazeera

 

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