The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it had contacted the social networking service Twitter to urge it to delay a planned upgrade that would have cut daytime service to Iranians who are disputing their election.
Confirmation that the U.S. government had contacted Twitter came as the Obama administration sought to avoid suggestions it was meddling in Iran’s internal affairs as the Islamic Republic battled to control deadly street protests over the election result.
WASHINGTON — From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program.
As Britain readies to host the G8 summit, the documents uncovered by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have revealed that back in 2009 US spies intercepted top-secret communications of then Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, during his visit to London.
The furore over the scale of American mass surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden shifted to an incendiary new level on Wednesday evening when Angela Merkel of Germany called Barack Obama to demand explanations over reports that the US National Security Agency was monitoring her mobile phone.*
The Central Intelligence Agency improperly accessed computers used by the Senate committee investigating the agency’s use of torture following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, according to the CIA Inspector General Office.
In July of 2011, the website for the British tabloid The Sun announced that media mogul Rupert Murdoch had been found “dead in his garden.”
It was a lie, of course; a fake article planted by hackers who spent a week flitting in and out of the newspaper’s servers. The cyberattack was part of a campaign against Rupert Murdoch’s British media empire in the midst of the News of the World phone hacking scandal.
It was perpetrated, like so many of these things, by a group of anonymous online hackers. Except one of their leaders was an FBI informant
The Hague, President Obama defended US surveillance programs as serving national security rather than commercial interests, in a wide-ranging meeting with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of a nuclear summit.
Hacking the Democrats
Is Russia hacking the Democrats? Is there anyone who isn’t?
More importantly: suppose the Russians were conclusively proven to be hacking the democrats: “So what,” shrugged Putin, “this is how it’s done. Isn’t that what Barack said when the NSA was caught hacking Angela?”
Let me try it from a different angle: In 2009, when Chelsea Manning dropped a ton of docs
that showed the US State Department a) had crappy computer security, and b) was being – to say the least – naughty and disrespectful in lots of places around the world – the Secretary of State had to make a bunch of embarrassing phone calls trying to walk back that damage. It was an important lesson in the value of good operational security, and making sure professional communications remained professional because they might not always remain private.
One of the things Manning’s leak taught us is that there are a bunch of incautious staffers at the State Department, who put really stupid things in email and don’t appear to realize that: stuff leaks.
Political offices seem to be among the leakiest places in the world – either someone’s hacking into your servers (to try to learn those deepest inner thoughts you’re leaking to the media) or the person in the cubicle next to yours is trying to toss information about your “secret” romance to a tabloid, hoping to cause an “involuntary vacancy” in the org-chart.
If you’ve watched HBO’s brilliant show, “VEEP” let me warn you: it’s closer to documentary than comedy. (Not that I want to go back to the “Hillary’s email” non-scandal, but: that’s pretty much how things work in the rarefied atmosphere of Versailles-on-the-Potomac)
The real story here, if there is one worth looking at, is the one that’s being deliberately obscured behind all the pointless fireworks about Russians. If there’s a real story, it’s that: political party bosses are sneaky people. Hey, you heard it here first.
I’ll add, if I may, that they don’t have a very good sense of e-mail security or professional communications and none of us would want to hire them if their job was to protect our personal information – because they are clearly incompetent at it. Oh, oops, that’s exactly the job they’re running for isn’t it? Hey, LOOK, SHINY RUSSIAN THING!!! OVER THERE!!!
Politics is the art of manipulation. Someone in that business complaining that someone else is trying to manipulate the political process through disclosing information … probably should find another career. Or they are manipulating you, in which case they are not your friends.
PS – I feel I should add a disclaimer: I’d bet you a stack of dollars against a donut that if the republicans have a computer system and are stupid enough to be swapping email through it across the internet, that it’s also been compromised. This is a non-partisan jab, in other words: I bet they’ve probably all got absolutely horrible security; it’s in the nature of the problem their system administrators have to deal with.
(* Obama’s reply was almost Clintonesque: “We are not nor will we monitor your phone.” Because, yeah, I told the guys to stop, 20 minutes ago.)