spies, national security, espionage, counterterrorism, u.s. foreign policy, intelligence operations, CIA, special forces, counterterrorism, terrorism
Showing posts with label consulate Congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label consulate Congress. Show all posts

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Cybersecurity Bill Stirs Privacy Concerns


Congress is taking another stab at protecting private industry from computer attacks. And again, it's stirring up fears about privacy.

The House Intelligence Committee overwhelmingly passed a new cybersecurity bill Wednesday aimed at increasing information-sharing between government agencies and private companies, reports CNN’s Pam Benson.  The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) will increase protection for “computer networks and intellectual property from cyber attacks.”

The two main frameworks of the bill are “a voluntary system for companies to share threat information on their networks with the government in exchange for some liability protections” and a system for “the government to share intelligence and other cyber threat information with industry,” Benson reported.

While the “the private sector is restricted from using cyber security information for marketing or any other commercial purposes,” critics of the bill argue that private information will still become too public during the data sharing process. 

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. argue that CISPA “should require companies to remove personal data not associated with cybersecurity before they share information with the government.”

The ACLU expressed its disappointment in the Bill.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Benghazi Debacle: FUBAR

On the very first night of my arrival in Vietnam to take over a secret intelligence operation, I was invited with my team to attend a cocktail party at the American consulate in Da Nang, an old French colonial port city on the central coast. I was so new, I was memorizing my cover story even as we drove to the consulate.

I was going to be running a “unilateral” espionage operation, which is to say, I not only wouldn't work with my South Vietnamese counterparts, who were heavily infiltrated by the communists, I was to consider them potential enemy agents, too.

A South Vietnamese colonel approached me during the party and asked what I did.  Using my fresh-from-language school Vietnamese, I told him that I was Army civilian working with a civilian refugee assistance program.

“Oh,”  he said with a smirk, “you’re a spook.” 

I froze. Later on, driving back to our safe house (in a Jeep painted black with diplomatic license tags, no less), I nervously told my teammates about the encounter with the colonel.

“Oh, that’s nothing”, one said, chuckling. “The Green Berets captured a Vietcong terrorist map six months ago. It had a big X on our house.”

“What happened?” I asked. “Nothing,” they said in unison, smiling with war-weariness. “Obviously we haven't moved.

"It’s just Fubar."