March 2015 Intelligence News
- NSA considered ending phone spying program: Report Press TV 30 Mar 2015 The US National Security Agency (NSA) spying program incurred considerable costs in terms of money and civil liberties, current and former intelligence officials say.
- NSA Considered Ending Phone Records Program Before Snowden Leak Sputnik 30 Mar 2015 -- Months before Edward Snowden leaked the National Security Agency's secret program of collecting and storing Americans' phone records, some NSA officials were proposing an end to the practice arguing that the costs outweighed its counter-terrorism benefits, the Associated Press reports.
- Eye in the Sky: Japan Launches Spy Satellite Into Orbit Sputnik 26 Mar 2015 -- Japan successfully launched a rocket carrying a backup optical satellite for the government's intelligence gathering program.
- Putin: Western Intel Services Aiming to Destabilize Russia VOA 26 Mar 2015 -- President Vladimir Putin said Western intelligence services have set it as their goal to destabilize Russia especially during upcoming elections, according to the Kremlin's website.
- Putin Accuses West Of Anti-Russian Plots RFE/RL 26 Mar 2015 -- President Vladimir Putin has accused Western nations of plotting to influence or disrupt Russian elections over the next few years, including a 2018 vote in which he could seek a fourth term.
- Panel Conducts Review of FBI Since 9/11 Commission Report FBI 25 Mar 2015 A congressionally mandated panel charged with reviewing the FBI's implementation of recommendations contained in the 9/11 Commission Report in 2004 today issued its findings.
- The FBI Releases Final Report of the 9/11 Review Commission FBI 25 Mar 2015 -- Today, the FBI released The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century, the final report of the 9/11 Review Commission. This congressionally mandated review focused on the FBI's implementation of the recommendations proposed by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission).
- Report Cites 'Significant Gap' in FBI's Intelligence Goals, Practices VOA 25 Mar 2015 -- Citing a 'significant gap' in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's intelligence goals and actual practices, a new report contends the bureau should beef up its ranks of analysts and linguists and better integrate analysis and criminal investigations to improve national security.
- US Officials React to Allegations of Israeli Spying VOA 24 Mar 2015 -- U.S. President Barack Obama said when it comes to the negotiations to secure an agreement ensuring Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, the U.S. has been briefing the U.S. Congress on developments as well as Israel and other partners around the world.
- China arrests spy suspect People's Daily 24 Mar 2015 -- Chinese authorities have arrested a taxi driver they accuse of selling military secrets to foreign spies.
- White House officials say Israel spied on Iran talks to sink nuclear deal Press TV 24 Mar 2015 -- Top White House officials have revealed that Israel began to spy on the closed-door nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group last year in order to sink an agreement.
- Israel Denies Spying on Iran Nuclear Talks to Hinder Any Deal Sputnik 24 Mar 2015 -- Israel dismissed on Tuesday a Wall Street Journal report, which claimed that the country was spying on participants of closed-door talks on the Iranian nuclear program, CNN said, citing an unnamed high-profile Israeli official.
- US-Intercepted Data Reveals Israel Spying on Talks With Iran - Reports Sputnik 24 Mar 2015 -- Israel spied on the world powers' nuclear talks with Iran and was using the obtained information to urge the US lawmakers' opposition against a nuclear deal with Tehran, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
- Israel Reportedly Spying on Iranian Nuclear Talks VOA 24 Mar 2015 -- As the United States and a group of five other world powers held nuclear negotiations with Iran, U.S. ally Israel used espionage to glean details of the secret talks and work behind the scenes to scuttle any potential agreement, according to a report posted late Monday by The Wall Street Journal.
- Document Reveals New Zealand Spied on Trade Partners Using NSA Tools Sputnik 23 Mar 2015 -- New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) used United States National Security Agency (NSA) XKeyscore surveillance software to spy on World Trade Organization (WTO) leader candidates, a document revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said.
- CIA chief warns Iran of 'tremendous costs' if it pursues nuclear 'breakout' capability Press TV 22 Mar 2015 -- A top US spy agency has reiterated allegations that Iran intends to produce a nuclear weapon, with the CIA director warning Tehran of "tremendous costs and consequences" if it moves in that direction.
- CIA Director: Iran Knows Nuclear Program Consequences VOA 22 Mar 2015 -- Iran knows it will face 'tremendous costs and consequences and implications' if it tries to develop a nuclear weapons, said the head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
- CIA Chief Says Momentum Of IS Halted In Iraq, Syria RFE/RL 22 Mar 2015 -- In a new interview, CIA Director John Brennan says U.S.-led air strikes and Iraqi government forces have stopped the momentum of Islamic State (IS) fighters in Iraq, while warning Iran against developing nuclear weapons.
- Report says two senior Syrian intelligence officials dismissed Press TV 20 Mar 2015 -- Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has reportedly dismissed two high-ranking intelligence officials after the pair engaged in a violent argument and exchanged blows.
- US Military Says 'Yes' to Buying Israeli-Made Spy Balloon Sputnik 19 Mar 2015 -- The US military said that they had approved the purchase of the Skystar 180, an Israeli-made surveillance aerostat.
- France unveils new rules on mass communication surveillance Press TV 19 Mar 2015 -- The French prime minister has unveiled a set of phone and internet spying rules against suspected terrorists, saying the country has never faced so great a terrorist threat.
- French Bill Aims to Broaden Surveillance Powers VOA 19 Mar 2015 -- Two months after the Paris shootings, and a day after attacks across the Mediterranean Sea in Tunisia, France has unveiled new legislation to eavesdrop on potential jihadists and other terrorist suspects. Some groups are concerned it may threaten civil liberties.
- Sweden: One-Third Of Russian Diplomats Are Spies RFE/RL 18 Mar 2015 -- BUSweden's intelligence service SAPO has accused Russia of conducting extensive espionage operations on Swedish territory.
- Top Secret NSA Documents Leak by Snowden Resulted in 'Few Changes' Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- Last 30 days' showed that NIS registered almost 33,186,042 phones calls in the period between December 12, 2012 and January 8, 2013.
- NSA Does Not Collect Intelligence From Foreign Companies to Benefit US Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- The United States does not conduct signals intelligence to provide economic advantage to US companies against foreign competitors, National Security Agency (NSA) Media Relations Chief Vanee Vines said in a statement on Tuesday in response to media reports the spy agency surveys US and foreign companies.
- CIA Chief: Terrorism Morphing Into Different Threats AFPS 16 Mar 2015 -- Terrorism is morphing into different types of threats, including cyberattacks that can impact nations across the globe, the director of central intelligence said in New York last week.
- Iran Scrapped from US Terrorism Threat List, Praised For Fighting ISIL Sputnik 16 Mar 2015 -- The report on Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Communities was recently made public, with Iran and Hezbollah scrapped from the terrorism list. The change is particularly significant as both Iran and Hezbollah have been featured in the section in previous years. In 2014, both were listed as terrorist threats within the context of the Syrian civil war in addition to direct threats they pose to the US and its allies.
- New Zealand Reportedly Spied on Solomon Islands Government Sputnik 15 Mar 2015 -- New Zealand's intelligence spied on government officials and an anti-corruption campaigner on the Solomon Islands, The Intercept reported, citing a leaked classified document.
- CIA Chief Says Airstrikes Have 'Softened' IS Forces VOA 13 Mar 2015 -- The head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency said Friday that the Islamic State militants are well-armed and well-financed, but not invincible.
- Russian Reconnaissance Troops Get Advanced Drones Sputnik 12 Mar 2015 -- Sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have reportedly been put into service at the Russian Central Military District in
- US leak investigation stalls over fears of revealing US-Israel anti-Iran operation Press TV 12 Mar 2015 -- An investigation into a top US military general accused of leaking sensitive information has been halted over fears it could confirm a joint US-Israeli covert operation against Iran's nuclear program, according to US officials.
- 'UK spies snooping on communications data in bulk' Press TV 12 Mar 2015 -- British lawmakers have, for the first time, acknowledged that the country's spy agencies are snooping on private communication data in bulk.
- RQ-4B soars past 10,000 flying hours AFNS 10 Mar 2015 -- An RQ-4B Global Hawk embarked on an Operation Inherent Resolve mission March 7, which sent the aircraft soaring past the 10,000 flying-hour milestone at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.
- New lawsuit challenges mass surveillance by NSA Press TV 10 Mar 2015 -- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a major new lawsuit on behalf of a broad group of organizations who are challenging the US government's mass surveillance programs.
- Iran can detect any spy plane: Cmdr. Press TV 10 Mar 2015 -- A senior Iranian commander says the country is capable of reconnoitering any spy aircraft flying far away from its borders, adding that Iran's Air Defense Force will safeguard the Islamic Republic's territorial integrity.
- UK Foreign Secretary Calls for More Spying Powers Sputnik 10 Mar 2015 -- and in doing so draw a line under that debate so that the agencies can get on with the job of keeping this country safe,' he said.
- Pakistan Tightens Control Of SIM Cards To Tackle Terrorism RFE/RL 09 Mar 2015 -- If you want to use a mobile phone in Pakistan, you will have to leave your name, number, and fingerprints. In an effort to curtail terrorism, the government has launched the massive undertaking of verifying the identity of every single mobile-phone user in the country of 180 million people.
- Putin Decorates Suspect In Litvinenko Killing RFE/RL 09 Mar 2015 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded a high state medal to Andrei Lugovoi, a lawmaker wanted by British police for the alleged murder of former Russian spy Aleksandr Litvinenko in London.
- Snowden Reveals Information on New Zealand's Secret Spy Base in Waihopai Sputnik 08 Mar 2015 -- The recent documents revealed by Edward Snowden show how closely New Zealand is working with the NSA to maintain surveillance coverage on the South-Pacific region.
- Peru Recalls Envoy to Chile Amid Spy Row Sputnik 07 Mar 2015 -- The espionage allegations against the three officers came up after several leading newspapers reported that the three junior Peruvian officers were suspected of having spied for Chile from 2005 to 2012.
- CIA Director Reveals Plan to Overhaul Spy Agency to 'Cover Entire Universe' Sputnik 07 Mar 2015 -- CIA Director John Brennan announced a massive reorganization of the spy agency he heads. Brennan said the effort will make officials more accountable and close espionage gaps.
- Unclassified Version of March 6, 2015 Message to the Workforce from CIA Director John Brennan: Our Agency's Blueprint for the Future Central Intelligence Agency 06 Mar 2015 -- The "Agency's leadership team has made a number of decisions building upon the Agency's Strategic Direction that are designed to strengthen our Agency in the years ahead. (...) The initiatives described below are driven by two fundamental shifts in the national security landscape. The first is the marked increase in the range, diversity, complexity, and immediacy of issues confronting policymakers; and the second is the unprecedented pace and impact of technological advancements."
- Edward Snowden: 21 Countries Refused Me Asylum Under US Pressure Sputnik 06 Mar 2015 -- the Oscar-winning documentary about his role in revealing the US government surveillance program – Edward Snowden made a surprise appearance. But instead of attending in the flesh, the audience saw Snowden the same way we've all been forced to: via live video link from Moscow.
- Russian Policeman Gets 15-Year Sentence For Spying For U.S. RFE/RL 05 Mar 2015 -- A court in Moscow has convicted a Russian police officer from Siberia on charges of spying for the United States and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
- Chief NSA Scandal Investigator in Germany Reports Phone Compromised Sputnik 05 Mar 2015 -- The head of the German inquiry into NSA spying had his phone tampered with after sending it off to be inspected for suspected hacking. When the phone arrived at its destination, its packaging had already been opened.
- China Seeks to Calm Tech Firm Fears Over Anti-Terrorism Law VOA 04 Mar 2015 -- China has responded to criticisms raised by U.S. President Barack Obama about regulations that could impact high-tech firms. The spokeswoman for China's top legislative body says that companies doing business here have nothing to fear from a new anti-terror law that is under review.
- Former CIA Director Petraeus Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges Sputnik 03 Mar 2015 -- a criminal information, a plea agreement and a statement of facts – were filed today in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina's Charlotte Division in the case of United States v. David Howell Petraeus. The criminal information charges the defendant with one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material…. The plea agreement and corresponding statement of facts, both signed by the defendant, indicate that he will plead guilty to the one-count criminal Information.'
- US Metadata Collection Expiration Will Increase Security Risk - Intelligence Sputnik 03 Mar 2015 -- Failure to renew the telephone metadata collection program, referred to as Section 215, would deprive the US intelligence community of a tool to thwart threats to national security, US Director of National Intelligence (NDI) James Clapper said at the Council on Foreign Relations.
- Iranian Army Expands Drone Fleet Sputnik 02 Mar 2015 -- The Commander of the Air Force's drone squadron reported on Sunday their intentions to increase the amount of home-made drones in the next five years and to start planning missions for long-range drones.
- Peru Suspends Spy Agency Amid Snooping Scandal Sputnik 02 Mar 2015 -- Peru partially shuttered its intelligence gathering agency to restructure it following allegations its agents spied on local politicians and businessmen.
- Iran raises drones flights by 800 times ISNA 01 Mar 2015 -- Iran increased drones flights by 800 times over the current Iranian calendar year (which started on March 21, 2014) comparing to similar period last year, and has formed drone brigade in the Army Air Force bases.
- Russia Expels Western Double Agent Sputnik 01 Mar 2015 -- Russia expelled senior inspector of Latvian civilian aviation Andrejs Dudarevs (Andrei Dudarev) known as 'agent Thomas'. According to the Federal Security Service (FSB) he spied for Latvian and American intelligence agencies.
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