Archive for the ‘Defence’ Category

America’s spies push for even more power

- November 23rd, 2013

The New York Times reports on a jaw-dropping report produced by the U.S. National Security Agency — America’s spy agency — in which it pushes for even more powers:

…existing American laws were not adequate to meet the needs of the N.S.A. to conduct broad surveillance in what it cited as “the golden age of Sigint,” or signals intelligence. “The interpretation and guidelines for applying our authorities, and in some cases the authorities themselves, have not kept pace with the complexity of the technology and target environments, or the operational expectations levied on N.S.A.’s mission,” the document concluded.Using sweeping language, the paper also outlined some of the agency’s other ambitions. They included defeating the cybersecurity practices of adversaries in order to acquire the data the agency needs from “anyone, anytime, anywhere.”

Read the story: N.S.A. Report Outlined Goals for More Power – NYTimes.com.

Fascinating look at the National Security Agency

- November 2nd, 2013

A chunk from a great Saturday read in today’s New York Times:

The agency’s Dishfire database — nothing happens without a code word at the N.S.A. — stores years of text messages from around the world, just in case. Its Tracfin collection accumulates gigabytes of credit card purchases. The fellow pretending to send a text message at an Internet cafe in Jordan may be using an N.S.A. technique code-named Polarbreeze to tap into nearby computers. The Russian businessman who is socially active on the web might just become food for Snacks, the acronym-mad agency’s Social Network Analysis Collaboration Knowledge Services, which figures out the personnel hierarchies of organizations from texts.

The spy agency’s station in Texas intercepted 478 emails while helping to foil a jihadist plot to kill a Swedish artist who had drawn pictures of the Prophet Muhammad. N.S.A. analysts delivered to authorities at Kennedy International Airport the names and flight numbers of workers dispatched by a Chinese human smuggling ring.

The agency’s eavesdropping gear, aboard a Defense Department plane flying 60,000 feet over Colombia, fed the location and plans of FARC rebels to the Colombian Army. In the Orlandocard operation, N.S.A. technicians set up what they called a “honeypot” computer on the web that attracted visits from 77,413 foreign computers and planted spyware on more than 1,000 that the agency deemed of potential future interest.

Read the rest at:  No Morsel Too Minuscule for All-Consuming N.S.A. .

Latest Coast Guard vessel named to honour Afghan war hero

- October 31st, 2013

CCGS Corporal McLaren MMV

The newest ship in the Coast Guard’s fleet is named for Cpl. Mark Robert McLarenn, killed in action in Kandahar in 2008 and awarded the Medal of Military Valour. The CCGS Corporal McLaren M.M.V. was accepted into service today in Dartmouth, NS.

South Korea goes with Boeing, dumps Lockheed-Martin’s F-35

- August 18th, 2013

F-15 Super Eagle

The Government of South Korea looks set to pick Boeing and its F-15 Super Eagle (above) over Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and the Eurofighter Typhoon. South Korea is set to spend US$7.2 billion to buy 15 two-seater jets and 45 single-seat jets.

Canada, by comparison, has budgeted CDN $8.99 billion to buy 65 new F-35s fighters  even as it undertakes an evaluation of its fighter jet options. Both the F-35 and the F-15 would be likely leading contenders to replace Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s. The F-35 is a stealth fighter while the F-15E has some stealth technology.  Read more…

Coast Guard gets first of its ‘Hero’ Class vessels, CCGS Private Robertson V.C.

- April 30th, 2013

CCGS Private Robertson V.C.

The federal government today put a brand new Coast Guard vesssel, the CCGS Private Robertson V.C. (handout pic above) into service in Sarnia, today.

From the press release announcing her service: Read more…