China’s observation satellite Gaofen 1, launched in April 2013 to obtain high-resolution images of the earth’s crust, has spotted secret cross-border tunnels between China and neighboring countries such as North Korea and Central Asian nations. Quoting the National Space Administration on Tuesday, the official news agency Xinhua reported that the images picked up by the satellite show “dozens” of these illegal structures located at two borders of great strategic importance to the Asian giant.
The US has begun surveillance flights over rebel-controlled parts of Syria after presidential authorisation, officials said, a move that could pave the way for air raids against the Islamic State group. A US official told the AP news agency early on Tuesday that the flights had started, while two other US officials said earlier that Barack Obama had approved the flights. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said that the US wanted more clarity on the group in Syria, but declined to comment on the surveillance flights.
By 2018, the NGA invisions a seamless, dynamic Map of the World (MoW) that enables users across the Intelligence Community to visualize and access integrated intelligence content fixed to accurate and authoritative geographic features on Earth. Through the integration of GEOINT, navigation datasets, imagery and intelligence, this unified, online, geospatial, temporal and relational view of the world will provide a common frame of reference throughout the IC, bringing together multiple sources of information on any object of interest.
Beijing’s plan to recruit up to 100,000 volunteers as “anti-terror informants” has been met with doubt by some members of the public. They fear efforts to collect information could lead to dangerous confrontations with strangers, and point to concerns about living in a community where suspicion of one’s neighbours is rife. The chief of the municipal Public Security Bureau, Fu Zhenghua, announced late last month that the capital aimed to enlist people from across society.
The government intends to create a space monitoring division within the Self-Defense Forces by around 2019 and the Defense Ministry has already informed the United States, a source close to the bilateral relationship said Saturday. Initially, the force will be tasked with monitoring dangerous debris floating in Earth’s orbit and with protecting satellites from collisions with such space junk, the source said. The ministry has altered its strategy on the use of space to include the development of an observatory force along these lines.
“This neighborhood watch twosome … will be on the lookout for nefarious capability other nations might try to place in that critical orbital regime,” Gen. William Shelton, the head of Air Force Space Command, told reporters at the Pentagon. The launch comes at a time when China is rapidly improving its space and anti-satellite capabilities. Pentagon planners worry that in a future conflict, Beijing might shoot down or disable American military satellites that are critical for communications, intelligence-gathering, and targeting.
In early March, a mysterious ship the size of a large passenger ferry left a Romanian wharf, glided through the narrow Bosporus that separates Europe and Asia, and plotted a course toward Scandinavia. About a month later, at the fenced-in headquarters of Norway’s military intelligence service, the country’s spy chief disclosed its identity. It was a $250 million spy ship, tentatively named Marjata, that will be equipped with sensors and other technology to snoop on Russia’s activities in the Arctic beginning in 2016.
The Egyptian military satellite will track the construction of an Ethiopian hydroelectric dam over which officials in Cairo and Addis Ababa have been locked in a standoff over fears that the project will hinder Egypt’s access to the Nile’s water. Egysat will monitor Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam by capturing high quality photos in Ethiopia (Dam Site, military movements and others) of the construction site along with other sources of the Nile, said Alaa El-din El-Nahry, vice president of Egypt’s National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences.
Japan bolstered its military surveillance capabilities in the southern island region of Okinawa over the weekend, reports said, as territorial tensions with China simmer. The nation’s armed forces, called the Self-Defence Forces, launched a squadron of four E-2C early warning planes at its air base in Naha on the main Okinawan island Sunday, the Jiji and Kyodo news agencies reported. This is the first time such planes have been based on the island.
The LSRS has been quietly flying on a small number of Navy P-3C Orion’s for some years, and the results have been described as “game changing.” It is said the sensor is so sensitive that it can even pick up a formation of people moving over open terrain. Also, the speed of the system’s double sided AESA array allows for multi-mode operations at one time with near 360 degree coverage, meaning that scanning, mapping, tracking and classifying targets can all happen near simultaneously.
With more than $50 billion in U.S. exports in FY 2012, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is one of the satellite industry’s largest supporters. As one of the country’s fastest growing industries, satellite accounts for a total of 60 percent of all exports financed by the Ex-Im Bank. On Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Washington Space Business Roundtable event, Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of the Ex-Im Bank spoke about the effect that the satellite industry has on the United States economy.
Google Glass may soon become a favored tool for law enforcement agencies in the United States. The New York City Police Department’s massive and controversial intelligence and analytics unit is evaluating whether Google Glass is a decent fit for investigating terrorists and helping cops lock up bad guys, VentureBeat has learned. The department recently received several pairs of the modernist-looking specs to test out. “We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we’re trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes,”.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) will soon propose rules for vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communications on U.S. roads, it announced yesterday. The agency is now finalizing a report on a 2012 trial with almost 3000 cars in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and will follow that report with draft rules that would “require V2V devices in new vehicles in a future year.” A car changing lanes, for example, might get a warning from its V2V system that another car is fast approaching in the driver’s blind spot.
A United Arab Emirates (UAE) deal to purchase two intelligence satellites from France worth almost 3.4 billion dirhams (US $930 million) is in jeopardy after the discovery of what was described as “security compromising components.” A high-level UAE source said the two high-resolution Pleiades-type Falcon Eye military observation satellites contained two specific US-supplied components that provide a back door to the highly secure data transmitted to the ground station.
Russia is planning to strengthen its integrated regional air defense network with Belarus and set up similar joint networks with Armenia and Kazakhstan, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday. The network reportedly comprises five Air Force units, 10 air defense units, five technical service and support units, and one electronic warfare unit. It is part of the integrated air defense network of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Apart from Belarus, Moscow signed an agreement to establish a regional air defense network with Kazakhstan last year.
Geography and social media analytics represent the latest tradecraft within Defense Department and the intelligence community, incorporating “human geography” into geospatial intelligence. For instance, the 2013-2017 National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Strategy calls for using both traditional and non-traditional (e.g., human geography and social media) geospatial sources. U.S. defense and intelligence agencies are monitoring Arabic-language jihadist Web forums and other online communications in order to “map” the “human terrain” of terror groups.
Future military operations may use a constantly updated digital “image skin” for a comprehensive map of the world under development by the Pentagon’s National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). This week, the NGA sought information from potential contractors to help develop the “orthorectified image skin” that would provide the base layer for the world map. Such a map would give the military a clearer picture of any potential trouble spot where troops would have to operate.
While the revelations of Snowden open new fronts of Datagate for Usa, interesting details emerge on electronic intelligence system of Russia. Different lenses but a common risk, you need to stop now. Thus there are at least 3 versions of the Russian system: Sorm-1 for the interception of fixed and mobile phones; Sorm-2 for the surveillance of the Internet; Sorm-3 that collects information from all forms of communication that are stored for a long period of time. Among the information collected there are both content (recordings of telephone conversations, text messages, email) and metadata (time, duration and location of the call or connection, etc..).
A security strategy paper by EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says EU countries should use military-grade drones for border surveillance. The EU chief is set to debate security ideas with MEPs in the plenary chamber in Strasbourg. Her plan, which outlines priorities in the lead up to an EU summit on defence in December, notes that there is “an urgent need to prepare a programme for the next generation” of so-called Medium Altitude Long Endurance (Male) drones. It adds that: “The objective is to promote a European approach for developing this key future capability.”
The U.S. Special Operations Command is awarding a contract to GeoEye Analytics for a special Human Geography Information System that uses a unique satellite constellation for collecting data in areas not commercially available. A human geography information system uses satellite imagery as the baseline and overlays the satellite maps with datasets and other detailed information covering history, culture, education, economy, religion, weather and political landscapes,. In addition, a good human geography system can map and even predict stresses that may change the dynamics of a target area as it relates to regional security.
The system for surveilling “irregular migratory flows,” as they are called in the official jargon, is precisely the kind of monitoring apparatus America’s NSA intelligence service might dream up. Using drones, intelligence equipment, offshore sensors and satellite search systems, they plan to survey the Mediterranean in its entirety, linking data through “system-of-systems” technology. National coordination centers are also expected to assist in the exchange of data with the European border protection agency Frontex. Eurosur is set to go into force in seven member states in December.
While police departments today aren’t even close to eliminating crime altogether, they are developing something akin to digital versions of precogs. Thanks to innovations in data analysis and surveillance technology, law enforcement officials are increasingly able to predict who will commit crimes, when they will be committed, and where — long before they have occurred. And as these technologies become more widespread among law enforcement agencies, they’re raising some serious questions about the implications of pre-emptive policing.
NSA spooks risk alienating yet another US ally after new documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden apparently revealed extensive surveillance of Indian domestic politics as well as the country’s nuclear and space programs.
The top secret document, obtained by The Hindu, suggests American spying activity in the sub-continent has gone far beyond that claimed by US and Indian officials.
NATO is scheduled to have in place its first-ever Alliance asset for collecting strategic intelligence: the Alliance Ground Surveillance system. The fleet of five Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft will carry a sophisticated radar capable of monitoring the situation on the ground from high overhead, including the movement of objects of interest such as military vehicles. The Global Hawks will transmit synthetic aperture radar images—which look like photographs—and tracking data on the moving objects down to NATO intelligence analysts.
Aviation rules will be revised to prepare for the Self-Defense Forces’ use of unmanned reconnaissance aircraft to monitor the Senkaku Islands, government officials said. The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry will begin studying similar rules in other countries next month in preparation for a revision in fiscal 2014 starting in April. Current aviation law only applies to manned aircraft, they said. The Global Hawk can fly roughly twice as high as commercial passenger aircraft for more than 30 hours on autopilot.
The Defense Ministry plans to build a communications intelligence facility on Iwoto Island in the Pacific to improve its ability to conduct surveillance on China and its growing military presence, a government source said Thursday. The ministry has similar facilities at six locations, including in Hokkaido, to intercept communications between ships and aircraft. China has increased military operations in the Pacific in response to the sovereignty row over the Senkaku Islands, which has strained Japan-China relations.
Canada’s military plans to boost its maritime surveillance capability by orbiting a new satellite constellation by 2018.The Canadian government announced that it would proceed with the Radarsat Constellation Mission (RCM), a constellation of three radar-imaging satellites that will keep eyes on maritime and Arctic areas and help monitor forestry and agriculture resources. The RCM satellites’ synthetic aperture radar will be able to detect ships 25 meters in length or larger. The radar can conduct surveillance day or night and through heavy cloud cover.
Russia has sent a reconnaissance vessel from its Black Sea fleet to the coast off Syria, a report said Monday, as Moscow anxiously watches Western plans for military action against the Damascus regime, a report said Monday. The SSV-201 intelligence ship Priazovye on Sunday evening started its voyage from its home port of Sevastopol in Ukraine “to the appointed region of military service in the eastern Mediterranean,” a military source told the Interfax news agency. “The crew has the mission… of collecting operative information in the region of an escalating conflict,” it added.
Navy readies future deployment of long-range maritime patrol UAVs with infrastructure on east and west coasts
The MQ-4C Triton will be a forward deployed, land-based, autonomously operated system that provides a persistent maritime persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability using a multi-sensor mission payload that blends maritime radar, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors, electronic support measures (ESM), automatic identification system (AIS) and basic communications relay.The MQ-4C’s ability to operate within a range of 2,000 nautical miles on missions lasting as long as 30 hours will enable the P-8A aircraft to focus on its core missions of ASW, anti-ship warfare, and multi-intelligence operations.
Conventional satellites may be decent at their jobs, but they do have some drawbacks – the spacecraft themselves are quite expensive, getting them into orbit is also a costly process, and they can’t be reclaimed once they’re in use. Titan Aerospace, however, is offering an alternative that should have none of those problems. The company’s Solara unmanned high-altitude aircraft is intended to serve as an “atmospheric satellite,” autonomously flying in the sky’s upper reaches for as long as five years continuously.
The United States’ “black budget” for fiscal 2013 amounts to $52.6 billion (or $167 per American), and it details what The Washington Post calls a “bureaucratic and operational landscape that has never been subject to public scrutiny.” According to a new front-page story on Thursday, the Post says that it now has the entire 178-page classified budget summary as supplied by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. This entire budget comprises the annual expenditures for the NSA, the CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and other spy and military agencies.
The federal government is perfecting software that will be able to pick suspects out of a crowd through facial recognition, and while we’re sure it’ll prove itself very useful for finding terrorists, it’s kind of horrifying all the same–especially since they might make it available for use by your neighborhood police. The crowd-scanning project is called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System, the New York Times reports, and will be known as BOSS, because if there’s one thing our government loves more than chipping away at our privacy, it’s hyper-masculine acronyms.
GSAT-7 has now begun its checkout at the Spaceport of Arianespace, in French Guiana in South America, to confirm the multi-band satellite’s readiness with payloads in the UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-bands. Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), it utilises India’s standard I-2K bus – the same as employed for the Indian Insat-3D satellite, which had lifted off on Arianespace’s VA214 mission on July 25. A senior official from the ISRO said on condition of anonymity: “It is for strategic purposes.” A person in the know of the development, said: “This only means that it is for defence purposes and it is a spy satellite. It is a satellite for a military communication network.”
Northrop Grumman is pitching a new method of drone pilot training to the Air Force and U.S. Customs and Border Protection based on a business model likely to gain in popularity as the drone revolution expands into civilian airspace: “fee for service.” Rather than training pilots on valuable MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers or in costly computerized simulators, Northrop is urging the Air Force and CPB to give remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) pilots basic flying time on a small drone the company has developed called SandShark. They pay by the hour for using the little planes, Karl Purdy, director of new UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) programs for Northrop, told reporters here.
China’s military modernization has given rise to an enormous Western literature dissecting its scope and progress. Despite this boom, many analysts have paid relatively little attention to recent advances in the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) command, control, communication, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities. The PLA’s growing complement of manned and unmanned aircraft, reconnaissance satellites, and sophisticated ground-based infrastructure comprises the operational foundation of China’s emerging network-centric military.
Demand for the use of surveillance drones by law enforcement is growing rapidly, but the rules for their use haven’t yet caught up with that demand, engendering fears of unwarranted searches. Drones are equipped with powerful video cameras and infrared (thermal imaging) devices capable of seeing through roofs, but they can also be fitted with radar speed-cameras and other miniaturized equipment capable of performing chemical analyses, environmental sampling, industrial emission monitoring, radiation detection, and much more.
ShotSpotter, the dominant gunfire detection technology on the market, gathers data from a network of acoustic sensors placed at 30-foot elevation under a mile apart. To cut costs, most cities use the sensors only in selected areas. The system filters the data through an algorithm that isolates the sound of gunfire. If shots are fired anywhere in the coverage area, the software triangulates their location to within about 10 feet and reports the activity to the police dispatcher.
DHS decided – with virtually no reviews or evaluations – to purchase unarmed versions of the Predator drones used abroad for “signature strikes” (targeted drone killing). The department, whose mission includes “border security,” has also relied on military bases along the land border and coastal waters to host its own drone fleet. Since DHS began acquiring Predators, along with Predator variants called Guardians, from General Atomics nine years ago, this domestic drone program has proved an abysmal failure – whether measured by its effectiveness in immigration enforcement, drug control, or counterterrorism.
The commander of the Air Natl Guard unit that operates remotely piloted drones from its central New York base held a news conference to discuss the expansion of the airspace in which it operates. Col. Greg Semmel of the Air Guard’s 174th Attack Wing spoke to the media Monday morning at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse. National Guard officials say the Federal Aviation Administration has authorized the wing to operate MQ-9 Reapers in airspace south of Fort Drum in the Syracuse region.
The United Arab Emirates ordered two military surveillance satellites from France on Monday, in a deal worth more than 700 million euros ($913.2 million). The Falcon Eye deal, signed in Abu Dhabi over competition from Lockheed Martin of the United States, includes the supply and launch of two high-resolution Helios surveillance satellites, a control station and training for 20 UAE engineers. The two satellites will be built by Astrium, the space division of EADS, and Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between French Thales and Italian Finmeccanica.
The U.S. military is shifting its huge fleet of unmanned aircraft to other hot spots around the world. The move comes as the Obama administration is reducing the number of drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. This next phase of drone warfare is focused more on spying than killing and will extend the Pentagon’s surveillance networks far beyond traditional, declared combat zones. According to the Washington Post, over the past decade, the Pentagon has collected more than 400 Predators, Reapers, Hunters, Gray Eagles and other high-altitude drones that have revolutionized counterterrorism operations.
How much are your private conversations worth to the government? Turns out, it can be a lot, depending on the technology. AT&T, for example, imposes a $325 “activation fee” for each wiretap and $10 a day to maintain it. Smaller carriers Cricket and U.S. Cellular charge only about $250 per wiretap. But snoop on a Verizon customer? That costs the government $775 for the first month and $500 each month after that, according to industry disclosures made last year to Rep. Edward Markey (D., Mass.).
In a narrow decision, lawmakers accepted an amendment to a bill offered by Sen. John Patrick, D-Rumford, that could allow police to use a drone without a search warrant.
In a 7-6 vote on May 1, the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee sided with Maine Attorney General Janet Mills on the issue of how police can employ unmanned aerial vehicles in criminal investigations.
Enter the Drone Shield, created by an aerospace engineer who is seeking backing on Indigogo to bring the device to market. Essentially, the Drone Shield is built around the wildly popular Raspberry Pi, along with a signal processor, microphone and analysis software to scan for specific audio signatures. The Shield is apparently capable of comparing recorded audio signatures against sounds created by known drone aircraft. When the system identifies a specific drone, it alerts the user via e-mail or SMS.
China has established a national island surveillance and monitoring system and completed airborne remote-sensing surveillance of its 4,406 islands, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR).
The national system is mainly built on aerial surveillance, with satellites, unmanned planes and cruisers as auxiliary instruments, the MLR said in its annual land resources report issued Saturday.
Russia’s facebook like service accused of collaborating with FSB to strangle anti-Putin user activity
Russia’s leading social network, Vkontakte.ru (also known as VK.com), has cooperated with the FSB – the post-Soviet successor to the KGB – in manipulating user trust and disregarding its own privacy rules, charged opposition-minded daily Novaya Gazeta.
In a denunciation that has galvanized opinions in Russia’s digital domain for the last ten days, Novaya accused the social network of behind-the-scenes political scheming back in late 2011 and early 2012. Amid the political turmoil that followed the controversial parliamentary and presidential elections, Vkontakte is reported to have given away users’ personal data to the FSB and also blocked some users who supported the political opposition.
The U.S. government is testing drones that are a civil rights double whammy – not only can they spy on you from above, but they can also determine whether you’re carrying a gun.
The drone will be able to “distinguish between unarmed and armed (exposed) personnel.” Citizens carrying around an assault rifle or a holster might send up a red flag, but people with concealed weapons will evade the drone’s gun-seeking camera. The Oklahoma Training Center for Unmanned Systems, a unit of the University Multispectral Laboratories under Oklahoma State University and Anchor Dynamics, has been performing research with the new drone.
The U.S. military’s much-discussed AirSea Battle will remain a priority in light of rising tensions with North Korea, ongoing military strategy assessments and continued budget constraints, Pentagon officials said.
“Air-Sea Battle is a set of agreed-upon ideas and actions to create the joint force needed for operations in contested and denied environments and what that force needs to be able to do. Having smaller budget authority does not change the validity of [Air-Sea Battle’s] ideas and actions for force development, although it may slow [Air-Sea Battle’s] implementation,” according to a statement from the Air-Sea Battle office.
The Yakima facility has been mentioned in several books on national security but otherwise hasn’t attracted widespread attention. James Bamford, whose groundbreaking 1982 book about the NSA, “The Puzzle Palace,” has said the Yakima facility has played a major role for decades in Echelon, the global surveillance network operated by the NSA and its counterparts in the British Commonwealth: Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The system has been reported to be capable of intercepting satellite communications traffic, such as emails and calls, from cellphones.
No matter what the future may contain, one thing is certain: just about everything in it, including us, will increasingly be under surveillance. Our habits, patterns, health, and preferences will be translated into data. Who will benefit from this valuable information, and how can we start developing the mindset to deal with this reality now? To get started, let’s filter a few core concepts and tough questions through our imaginations.
Privacy The concept of privacy is relative, and it may be a luxury, but it’s good when people are able to relax, think, live and create without fearing that curiosity and exploration will come back to haunt them.
Israeli spying equipment has been found hidden in artificial rocks on an uninhabited island opposite the Syrian port of Tartus, where it was being used to monitor Russian naval movements. Three large espionage devices were discovered by fishermen on the tiny Ant Island near a naval base regarded by Moscow as an important strategic asset in the Mediterranean. According to Al-Manar, a pro-Syrian television station in neighbouring Lebanon, the “rocks” could track and film Russian warship movements and instantly transmit pictures back to Israel by satellite.
An unmanned Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to put a second upgraded missile-warning satellite into orbit. The 192-foot (58-meter) rocket lifted off from its seaside launch pad at 5:21 pm EDT/2121 GMT, carrying the US Air Force’s second Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous, or Geo2, satellite. Once operational, the spacecraft will join an orbital surveillance network that continually scans the globe for telltale signs of missile launches.
China has sparked off a fresh scare in India’s national security establishment, this time with its little-known collaboration with neighbouring countries’ space-related programmes, adding a new dimension to fears among intelligence agencies the eastern neighbour was encircling India strategically with large communication networks. A string of satellite deals China has struck with Sri Lanka, potential space-related partnerships in Maldives and Bangladesh and their security implications have raised concern in New Delhi.
It is a perennial problem in military operations that there is never enough satellite capacity to satisfy commanders’ gargantuan appetite for voice and data communications.
The bandwidth crunch is expected to worsen in coming years as the Pentagon increases deployments of remotely piloted aircraft for around-the-clock surveillance in many parts of the world. Anticipated requirements for satellite communications will far outstrip capacity, officials have predicted.
According to Easton, who studied more than 100 Chinese-language military technology journals, official government reports and news reports out of Taiwan, the Chinese see drones as a platform to wage war at the “highest level of conflict.” Chinese documents suggest that the country’s People’s Liberation Army “envision[s] attacking U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups with swarms of multi-mission UAVs.”
Chinese reports suggest that they plan to use the drones in the event of a conventional war. While American drones are rarely lost overseas, China envisions attacks “with initial waves of decoy drones” followed by swarms of strike drones that would often be shot down during their mission.
By the year 2020 China’s satellite navigation system “Beidou” will become global, making it one step closer to becoming a superpower. E. Peitzyan, a member of the All-Chinese Committee of the People’s Political Consultative Congress of China, had made an announcement to this effect. The Chinese Beidou will become a real competitor for the Russian GLONASS and the US GPS. The Beidou system will be able to service its clients all over the world in the area of positioning, navigation and timing with a great degree of precision and reliability.
Effective 21st-century warfare requires the ability to conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike mobile targets anywhere, around the clock. Current technologies, however, have their limitations. Helicopters are relatively limited in the distance and flight time. Fixed-wing manned and unmanned aircraft can fly farther and longer but require either aircraft carriers or large, fixed land bases with runways often longer than a mile. Moreover, establishing these bases or deploying carriers requires substantial financial, diplomatic and security commitments that are incompatible with rapid response.
There are about 79 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide—and India’s government wants to hand its spy agency data on every one of them. In late 2012, back when it was still officially known as Research in Motion, the company behind BlackBerry handsets worked with the Indian government to enable surveillance of Blackberry Messenger and Blackberry Internet Service emails. But now India’s authorities are complaining that they can only spy on communications sent between the estimated 1 million BlackBerry users in India—and they want a list of all BlackBerry handsets across the globe.
As concern mounts over the U.S. government’s use of aerial drones, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn on Thursday sent a clear message to his police department: whatever the government does, the Seattle police will not use the unmanned airplanes. McGinn’s decision to order an end to the program came after protests from residents and privacy advocates. Seattle is now one of about a dozen places in America where the use of these unmanned security vehicles are being challenged. Eleven states have already proposed anti-drone bills asking for a limit on such surveillance technology.
The EU and a large Israeli military contractor are co-funding research to build drones that can stop moving boats and cars.
Launched in January, the three-year-long Aeroceptor project, according to its own literature, aims to help law enforcement authorities to stop “non-cooperative vehicles in both land and sea scenarios by means of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.”
Israel’s ministry of public security, global weapons manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries and Israeli-based Rotem Technological Solutions are among the list of 12 participants, most of which are based in the EU.
The U.K. plans to install an unspecified number of spy devices along the country’s telecommunications network to monitor Britons’ use of overseas services such as Facebook and Twitter, according to a report published Tuesday by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.
The devices—referred to as “probes” in the report—are meant to underpin a nationwide surveillance regime aimed at logging nearly everything Britons do online, from Skype calls with family members to visits to pornographic websites. The government argues that swift access to communications data is critical to the fight against terrorism and other high-level crime.
British troops are using a nano drone just 10cm long and weighing 16 grams on the front line in Afghanistan to provide vital information on the ground.
They are the first to use the state-of-the-art handheld tiny surveillance helicopters, which relay reliable full motion video and still images back to the devices’ handlers in the battlefield. The Black Hornet Nano Unmanned Air Vehicle is the size of a child’s toy, measuring just 10cm (4 ins) by 2.5cm (1 inch), and is equipped with a tiny camera.
Unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly known as drones, aren’t just used for spying and dropping bombs. The civil applications for unmanned aircraft are numerous, from spreading pesticide on fields, to delivering medical supplies in remote areas, to monitoring hundreds of miles of oil pipelines for leaks.
The University of North Dakota recognizes this huge potential – the school now offers an undergraduate major in unmanned aircraft systems operations. Most soon-to-be graduates will end up in jobs that support the military. But program head Ben Trapnell said civilian uses will eventually far outpace those for defense.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced on Monday a tender for research on a potential sensor system for a micro-unmanned air vehicle (UAV) project, according to an order posted on the government’s state procurement portal.
Officials have allocated about 7 million rubles (about $230,000) for the project, aimed at developing a 200-gram (6.5 ounce) electro-optical surveillance sensor package for the mini-UAV, code-named “Fly Fisher,” with a take-off weight of no more than 1 kilogram.
That figure is on top of the 85,570 similar cameras that it has bought in the past three years, with the total cost running to more than £6.22 million, according to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper.
Citing Chinese export statistics on its trade with North Korea, the paper quoted analysts as saying that many of the cameras are being positioned at key points along the long border the two nations share in order to detect and capture would-be defectors from the North.
A Japanese security company plans to rent out a private drone that takes off when intruder alarms are tripped and records footage of break-ins as they happen, a spokeswoman said on Thursday. The helicopter-like device is equipped with a small surveillance camera that can transmit live pictures of a crime taking place. “The flying robot could take off if our online security systems detect any unauthorised entry,” Asuka Saito, a spokeswoman for Secom, said. “It would enable us to quickly check out what’s actually happening on the spot,” she said.
The Military Intelligence (MI) has started a country wide exercise to collect all sorts of information from Journalists, a report said on Wednesday.
Their personnel’s are providing a two-page form in Urdu language to all the journalists and media representatives in the country in which they are obliged to fill all the necessary information about themselves. We saw names of nearly a hundred well known media personalities, including women journalists who live on their own and even included one columnist who is a sitting member of Parliament.
The military is likely to use unmanned drones to undertake reconnaissance patrols around the coast of the UK and for Nato operations rather than replacing the RAF’s iconic Nimrod spy planes.
Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, said today (WEDS) using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) would be cheaper and less risky than developing an expensive new version of Nimrod, which was scrapped as part of the cuts set out in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).
The Syrian soldier, whose name has been changed and will be known as Abu-Husayn for his own security and the safety of his relatives in Syria, has disclosed details of his encounter with Chinese intelligence operatives in Damascus. “I saw Chinese operatives visiting the Ministry of Defense. The regime purchased Chinese surveillance equipment and wiretapping devices. These operatives were teaching Syrians how to use these devices and technologies,” he said.
There is really so much junk floating around in space the government needs help keeping track of it all. This week the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced a program to utilize amateur astronomers to help watch space for any dangerous junk that maybe be threatening satellites or other spacecraft and even the Earth.
The Carnegie Mellon pair disclosed details about their Army-funded research in a paper earlier this week, at the Semantic Technology for Intelligence, Defense, and Security conference at George Mason University. Their paper, “Using Ontologies in a Cognitive-Grounded System: Automatic Action Recognition in Video Surveillance,” presents the knowledge infrastructure of a high-level artiﬁcial visual intelligent system.
Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern is specifically looking into the usage of a four-pound aerial drone capable of live video streaming, according to NBC Bay Area. Ahern has stated that he plans to deploy drones only for emergency use and proactive policing. “What does an unmanned aerial vehicle have to do with community policing?” said Oakland attorney Michael Siegel of Siegel & Yee at the press conference.
A battalion of Special Forces (BOPE) from the Brazilian city of Rio do Janeiro started using unmanned aerial vehicles or drones to air monitor the drugs trade and gangs in shanty towns surrounding the “marvellous city”.
The VANTS (Portuguese for UAV) manufactured by the Brazilian Military Engineering Institute with Israeli technology are currently being flown on an experimental basis over the estimated six hundred ‘favelas’ or shanty towns that ‘hang’ from the ‘morros’ (hills) which surround the city of Rio do Janeiro and its world famous beaches.
Morgan Marquis-Boire works as a Google engineer and Bill Marczak is earning a Ph.D. in computer science. But this summer, the two men have been moonlighting as detectives, chasing an elusive surveillance tool from Bahrain across five continents.
What they found was the widespread use of sophisticated, off-the-shelf computer espionage software by governments with questionable records on human rights. While the software is supposedly sold for use only in criminal investigations, the two came across evidence that it was being used to target political dissidents.
The software proved to be the stuff of a spy film: it can grab images of computer screens, record Skype chats, turn on cameras and microphones and log keystrokes. The two men said they discovered mobile versions of the spyware customized for all major mobile phones.
Drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are to be deployed along China’s coastline to undertake remote-sensing marine surveillance.
Local authorities said they could use the high-definition photos to discover illegal land reclamation and sand dredging as well as monitor marine environments along the coast and on islets.
The project also includes the construction of 11 UAV bases run by provincial maritime authorities, according to Yu Qingsong, a division chief of the State Oceanic Administration.
The FBI recently announced that it will distribute free facial recognition software to law enforcement agencies following a pilot program of the system, reported Slate.com. Police will be able to use the Universal Face Workstation (UFW) program, which grants access to a central database of about 13 million images. Police departments will also be able to submit and enhance their own image files to be cross-referenced with existing images in the database to identify matches.
UFW, which was piloted in February in Michigan, is part of a $1 billion biometrics FBI program called Next Generation Identification, which will create a database for scars and tattoos.
When you think about high tech “intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance” (ISR) breakthroughs, does a gigantic $172 million blimp immediately come to mind? If not, then join the club. In fact my first thought when learning about the U.S. Army’s new blimp was Hindenburg .
It’s not fashionable to call this flying spy (hybrid military airship) a “blimp,” but a Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV). You are no doubt familiar with the Goodyear blimp that hovers over football games, but the LEMV is almost the size of a seven-story flying football field; it’s meant to fly at speeds between 30 – 80 knots without ceasing for 21 straight days while providing an “unblinking” eye of surveillance.
Northrop Grumman has a $517 million contract  to build three of these 21st century robotic airships for the U.S. Army.
Since Jan. 1 of this year, according to congressional testimony presented Thursday by the Government Accountability Office, the Federal Aviation Administration has authorized 106 federal, state and local government “entities” to fly “unmanned aircraft systems,” also known as drones, within U.S. airspace.
“We are now on the edge of a new horizon: using unmanned aerial systems within the homeland,” House Homeland Security Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Michael McCaul (R.-Texas) said as he introduced the testimony.
“Currently,” said McCaul, “there are about 200 active Certificates of Authorization issued by the Federal Aviation Administration to over 100 different entities, such as law enforcement departments and academic institutions, to fly drones domestically.”
The Federal Security Service (FSB) has put a stop to the illegal activity of a former security services officer and a private detective who were illegally gathering information on the private lives of high-ranking officials by unlafully wiretapping telephone conversations, the service reported on Monday.
“The flats and offices of former security services officer Smirnov and private detective Mikhaylenko, as well as the premises of private security firm Belgan, have been searched as part of the criminal case,” reads the report.
The Russians are conducting what has quietly become their annual flyover of key Canadian sites this week, revealing the two countries’ regular surveillance of one another at a time when a spy scandal and Arctic sovereignty have markedly strained relations.
Russia has routinely exercised a 10-year-old treaty right to fly over Canada and inspect the country’s military infrastructure, industrial complexes, cities and transportation hubs, according to a National Defence spokesman. He said it is the only one out of 34 countries to fly over Canadian soil under the Open Skies treaty.
The upcoming flight is novel in its timing, too: It is Russia’s first information-gathering flight since a Canadian intelligence officer was arrested under suspicion of espionage, allegedly for the Russians, back in January.
San Francisco’s Municipal Transit Authority (MUNI), the latest purchaser, is using AISight software to continuously monitor more than 150 “objects and activities” at 12 train stations via real-time video feeds.
The software uses artificial intelligence to learn which items and movements could indicate a potential threat. Video clips of suspicious activity and SMS text message alerts are automatically sent to MUNI employees upon detection.
The NATO intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance community kicked off a first-of-its-kind technical trial today in Norway to help in preserving gains made during the past decade of conflict and to build on them for the future.
U.S. Air Force and Army representatives have joined their counterparts from 12 countries and seven NATO organizations for the 10-day Unified Vision 2012, Dennis Lynn, the Air Force lead and senior U.S. national representative at the trial, told American Forces Press Service.
The FBI has been given an expanded role in coordinating the domestic intelligence-gathering activities of the CIA and other agencies under a plan enacted this year by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., officials said.
The bureau’s highest-ranking field agents now also serve as the DNI’s representatives across the country. The change is intended to improve collaboration, but some officials say it has created new friction between the FBI and CIA.
An unmanned U.S. air force space plane steered itself to a landing early Saturday at a California military base, capping a 15-month clandestine mission.
The spacecraft, which was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in March 2011, conducted in-orbit experiments during the mission, officials said. It was the second such autonomous landing at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, 209 kilometres northwest of Los Angeles. In 2010, an identical unmanned spacecraft returned to Earth after seven months and 146 million kilometres in orbit.
The latest homecoming was set in motion when the stubby-winged robotic X-37B fired its engine to slip out of orbit, then pierced through the atmosphere and glided down the runway like an airplane.
The Age Of Drones: Military May Share Domestic Surveillance Data With Police According To An Intelligence Report
As the Federal Aviation Administration helps usher in an age of drones for U.S. law enforcement agencies, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) domestically by the U.S. military — and the sharing of collected data with police agencies — is raising its own concerns about possible violations of privacy and Constitutional law, according to drone critics.
A non-classified U.S. Air Force intelligence report obtained by KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO dated April 23, 2012, is helping fuel concern that video and other data inadvertently captured by Air Force drones already flying through some U.S. airspace, might end up in the hands of federal or local law enforcement, doing an end-run around normal procedures requiring police to obtain court issued warrants.
The American skies may soon be full of drones after it was disclosed that domestic law enforcement agencies, from the FBI to local police, have been granted permission to deploy the unmanned aircraft.
Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws show that more than 50 non-military organisations have asked to fly drone aircraft, many of which can carry cameras and surveillance equipment for spying, within the US.
The NSA, the intelligence arm of the United States responsible for eavesdropping and code breaking, weathered criticism and high-profile legal challenges in 2005 for its warrantless wiretapping program, and now we have a decent idea of the sophisticated and controversial methods the NSA employs to penetrate global telecommunications networks. Still in the shadows, however, is a secretive joint program with the Central Intelligence Agency codenamed F6, but better known as the Special Collection Service.
The men and women of the Special Collection Service are responsible for placing super-high-tech bugs in unbelievably hard-to-reach places.
The Indian Navy is all set to commission its first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) squadron on the East Coast at Uchipuli near here soon.
It is considered a significant step towards strengthening maritime surveillance and reconnaissance in Palk Strait, Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay off the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh coast. The commissioning of the UAV squadron near Rameswaram assumes significance not only due to its close proximity to Sri Lanka but also due to the strategic importance of the region.
The US has launched a new classified radar imaging satellite that can see at night and through bad weather, allowing American intelligenceagencies to spy on countries of interest.
An unmanned rocket blasted off from the California coast carrying a clandestine new spy satellite called NROL-25 for the US military, media reports said.
The United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on a mission to orbit the classified satellite for the US National Reconnaissance Office. The liftoff came after several delays due to bad weather and a technical glitch, Space.com reported.
Spies could now snoop on you through your TV, dispensing with the necessity of planting bugs in your room, according to CIA director David Petraeus.
The CIA says it will be able to ‘read’ these devices via the internet – and perhaps even via radio waves from outside the home, Petraeus added.
Everything from remote controls to clock radios can now be controlled via apps – and chip company ARM recently unveiled low-powered, cheaper chips which will be used in everything from fridges and ovens to doorbells, according to the Daily Mail.
“A good number” of unmanned U.S. military and intelligence drones are operating in the skies over Syria, monitoring the Syrian military’s attacks against opposition forces and innocent civilians alike, U.S. defense officials tell NBC News’ Jim Miklaszewski.
The officials said this surveillance is not in preparation for U.S. military intervention. Rather, the Obama administration hopes to use the overhead visual evidence and intercepts of Syrian government and military communications in an effort to “make the case for a widespread international response,” the officials told Miklaszewski.
China’s intelligence operations are the “core arena” for achieving the superpower status which the Communist elite in Beijing so passionately desires. Central to its spy activities is the island of Cuba which is strategically located for the interception of U.S. military and civilian satellite communications. China’s spy services also cooperates closely with Havana’s own world-class intelligence services.
Inexplicably, the U.S. mass media are ignoring both the existence of the spy base as well as the Cuban-Chinese alliance which is responsible for it.
America’s classified X-37B spaceplane is probably spying on China, according to a report in Spaceflight magazine.
The unpiloted vehicle was launched into orbit by the US Air Force in March last year and has yet to return to Earth.
The Pentagon has steadfastly refused to discuss its mission but amateur space trackers have noted how its path around the globe is nearly identical to China’s spacelab, Tiangong-1.
There is wide speculation that the X-37B is eavesdropping on the laboratory.
“It sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake” could be the theme song for a new spy satellite being developed by DARPA. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s latest proof-of-concept project is called the Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE), and would provide real-time images and video of any place on Earth at any time — a capability that, so far, only exists in the realm of movies and science fiction. The details of this huge eye-in-the-sky look like something right out of science fiction, as well, and it would be interesting to determine if it could have applications for astronomy as well.
China launched two satellites Wednesday as part of a decade-long rapid expansion of earth-monitoring capabilities that also buttress the country’s growing military prowess.
Yaogan-12, the primary cargo of the launch, is the twelfth model in a series of “remote sensing” satellites that many analysts believe are tasked with gathering military intelligence. China, which has never acknowledged a defense-related launch, claims that the satellite will be used for “scientific experiments, land survey, crop yield assessment, and disaster monitoring.”
As the Police once sang , “Every breath you take and every move you make…I’ll be watching you,” and that seems to sum up the Italian Hacking Team services and what it pimps atIntelligence Support Systems (ISS) conferences . While there are many vendors at such conferences offered worldwide and allegedly for “lawful interception, criminal investigation and intelligence gathering,” some stand out as ethically and legally questionable. We know cyber cops need ways to go after the evil cybercriminal elements hiding in cyberspace, but it’s the “mass surveillance” and “without a warrant” that sets our privacy hackles on edge as that seems to assume anyone may be a bad guy needing monitored.
It’s high time Canada had a proper foreign spy agency, especially if the feds are serious about positioning Canada as a country that punches above its weight on the international stage.
And security expert Christian Leuprecht said Canada could have one of the best foreign intelligence services in the world, given its very diverse population and the good relations the government has with Canada’s ethnic communities.
Speaking to Today’s Zaman, high-level officials from the Turkish Defense Ministry said: “For years, Israel has obtained images of our territory. For the first time, we will have a satellite for intelligence. Reciprocity is essential in international relations. If they observe Turkish soil, Turkey has the same right, too.”
Turkey’s defense and procurement authorities completed the deal with Telespazio for the construction and launch of the country’s first military satellite, Göktürk, in 2009. The 250-million-euro contract was signed on July 16, 2009 at a ceremony attended by representatives of Telespazio and top Turkish officials, including Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül and Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM) head Murad Bayar.
It also reflects a stocktaking of the intelligence agencies as Putin prepares to return to power. He draws his support from the spooks, but he also wants efficiency and obedience. The GRU often duplicated the work of the SVR and instead he wants it to concentrate on what it is best at: true military espionage, work in Central Asia and the Caucasus and, one may suspect, occasional assassinations of enemies abroad.
Putin was once a spook; he believes in them and draws many of his closest allies from their ranks. But he also knows that left to their own devices they will tend to be distracted by futile turf wars. They also get too big for their own boots and from time to time need reminding who’s boss. In this respect, the GRU is simply the sacrificial victim of the hour. The FSB and SVR, though, are expected to learn the lesson.
The Canadian Forces’ National Counter-Intelligence Unit assembled at least eight reports on the activities of native organizations between January, 2010, and July, 2011, according to records released under access to information law.
When told of the documents, one aboriginal leader said the thought of the military keeping tabs on natives was “chilling.”