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Showing posts from August 26, 2014

The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google

By Ryan Gallagher

"The Intercept" - The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.

The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.

ICREACH contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Details about its existence are contained in the archive of materials provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edw…

Egypt and UAE Have Conducted Secret Air Strikes on Libya – Report


Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have been joining forces in secret to carry out air strikes on Libya, anonymous high-ranking US officials told the media. The two countries have reportedly coordinated and launched the attacks twice in the last week.

Both Egypt and the UAE launched the strikes without informing the US or seeking its consent, the officials told the New York Times.

“We don’t see this as constructive at all,” one of the officials told the newspaper, which reported that diplomats were “livid” about the strikes. Libya is a conflict-torn area with both the UN and Western powers seeking to quell the violence.

While Egypt issued an outright denial, the UAE did not comment on having carried out the attacks. Egypt and UAE are solid military allies and are backed by the US.

However, NYT sources said that the UAE was the source of pilots, warplanes and aerial refueling planes while Egyptian bases were used to strike Tripoli in both attacks, one of which took place a week ag…

China’s ‘Dangerous Intercept’ of US Spy Plane

This week a Chinese jet conducted a “dangerous” intercept of a P-8 Poseidon aircraft, the Pentagon announced on Friday.

“On the 19th of August, an armed Chinese fighter jet conducted a dangerous intercept of a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft, patrol aircraft, that was on a routine mission. The intercept took place about 135 miles east of Hainan Island, in international airspace,” Admiral John Kirby, the spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Defense, told reporters at a press conference on Friday.

Kirby elaborated on the incident, saying that the Chinese jet: “crossed under the aircraft with one pass having only 50-100 feet separation. The Chinese jet also passed the nose of the P-8 at 90 degrees with its belly toward the P-8 Poseidon, we believe to make a point of showing its weapons load-out. And then they flew directly under and alongside the P-8, bringing their wingtips, as I said, to within 20 feet. And then conducted a roll over the P-8, passing within 45 feet.”

The Pentagon spoke…

Futuristic Chinese ‘supersonic’ sub could reach US shores in under two hours

Reuters / Guang Niu

Traveling from Shanghai to San Francisco in under two hours may sound like a fantasy, but China believes it’s figured out how to design an underwater vehicle that can make the idea a reality.

More worryingly, though, is the possibility that the technology will be used to develop even more dangerous weaponry.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the super-fast technology was developed by scientists at the Harbin Institute of Technology, and would allow underwater submarines or torpedoes to exceed the equivalent speed of sound under water – about 3,600 miles per hour.

The idea is based on the old Soviet concept of supercavitation, which involves creating a large air bubble around an object so that it could avoid facing too much friction and travel through water quickly.

Professor Li Fengchen said that when the vessel hits the water, one of its mechanisms continuously sprays a “special liquid membrane” all over the object’s surface. This membrane eventually…

The US terrorizing Middle East is the moral equivalent of ISIS

Annie Machon

A vehicle belonging to Kurdish security forces fires a multiple rocket launcher during clashes with Sunni militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on the outskirts of Diyala.(Reuters / Yahya Ahmad)

Two horrors have dwelt in my mind for the last twenty years, ever since I read reports about terrorist groups while an impressionable young intelligence officer.

The first involves the use of power tools as instruments of torture; drills, industrial sanders, angle grinders. This is no secret now and the meme has been much used and abused by Hollywood and series such as "24", but I still feel uncomfortable every time I am dragged into the "boy toy" section of a home improvement mega-store.

The second has recently hit the news as a grim result of ISIS, the ultra-violent Sunni sect that has swept across much of Syria and Iraq, imposing the most draconian form of Sharia law in its wake upon the hapless citizens of formerly secular states. I pity…

Ukraine President dissolves parliament, paves way for early election

Ukrainian parliament members attend a session in Kiev (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, has made the decision to dismiss the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, a message on his official Twitter account says.

The decision comes because “the majority of the MPs voted for dictator-style laws,” which cost the lives of Maidan activists, RIA Novosti news agency reports citing Poroshenko's spokesman.

Dear compatriots, Today I have taken a decision to early dissolve the Parliament.

— Петро Порошенко (@poroshenko) August 25, 2014

The election of the new parliament will be held on October 26, the spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko wrote on his Facebook page.

Poroshenko has called on “democratic forces” in Ukraine to enter the elections as a united “pro-Ukrainian, pro-European team,” Tsegolko’s Facebook post states adding that the Rada was dismissed “because it is the only right and responsible decision.”

“The Fifth Column in the parliament consists of doz…