Monthly Archives: December 2009

Need to Know: 12/08/2009

Officials announce first Afghanistan surge units
About 16,000 Marines and Soldiers have been notified they will deploy to Afghanistan as part of President Barack Obama’s new strategy.

Data-Sifting For Timely Intelligence Still an Elusive Goal
Although there was evidence to suggest that the Japanese navy was up to something in December 1941, that information was scanty and came too late. Today’s intelligence agencies have another problem altogether — more information than they can deal with, and computers aren’t helping as much as one might expect for reasons that will be familiar to Slashdot readers: computers can crunch numbers faster and more accurately than humans but they’re still easily baffled by language as it is commonly used in the real world.

Coordinated Bombings in Baghdad Kill at Least 121
A series of devastating car bombings rocked Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 121 people and wounding hundreds more, according to preliminary accounts by witnesses, the police and hospital officials.

Chicago Terrorism Suspect Charged by U.S. Over Mumbai Attacks
U.S. prosecutors charged a Chicago man with helping plan last year’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai by carrying out surveillance of potential targets in India’s financial hub.

Pakistan spy agency office attacked in Multan
A gun and bomb attack on an office of Pakistan’s main intelligence agency in the central city of Multan has killed at least 12 people, police say.

Does Terrorism Work?
Is terrorism an effective tool for achieving political goals? Yes, up to a point, according a new paper.

Spy chief to face ‘taxi driver’ claim over Iraq weapons
Spy chief Sir John Scarlett is being questioned about intelligence on Iraq after claims a taxi driver was the source for the most infamous claim.

GD makes appointment for C4 Systems unit
U.S. company General Dynamics announced the appointment of a former Homeland Security Department senior executive official to its C4 Systems unit.

Cuban spies to get reduced prison sentences
The appeals judges ruled the initial sentences were too harsh for Ramon Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez, both 46. A Miami judge is scheduled to impose new sentences Tuesday on both men.

Cambodian Court Jails Thai as ‘Spy’
Siwarak Chutipong, an employee of Cambodia Air Traffic Services, was arrested by Cambodian police nearly a month ago, on charges of stealing information on the flight schedule and passing it to Thai diplomats in Phnom Penh.

Google chief: Only miscreants worry about net privacy
“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place,” Schmidt tells CNBC, sparking howls of incredulity from the likes of Gawker.

Real ID, Pass ID Napolitano’s statements
On December 2nd Secretary Napolitano of Homeland Security appeared before the Senate committee. As he had promised in his radio broadcast Senator Tom Udall (D, NM) raised the issue of extensions for states to meet the requirements of the Real ID Act.

MIT wins $40,000 prize in nationwide balloon-hunt contest
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced that the MIT team was the first group in the contest to report the latitude and longitude coordinates of all 10 balloons, which were scattered across the United States.

How Authoritarian States Survive the Internet
By adapting established methods of control, authoritarian and semi-authoritarian states have been able to counter the political impact of the internet within their borders, experts say, with serious implications for digital democracy movements around the world.

How the Taliban Take a Village (Lind/Sexton)
A current method used by Taliban in Afghanistan to gain control of an area deemed of strategic interest to the Taliban leadership operating from safe havens in Pakistan or within Afghanistan is to identify and target villages to subvert.

Worth Watching: Cheeky_Geeky