Category Archives: NSA

The Creepy New Security Credit Score for Spotting “Insider Threats”

“Almost two years after Edward Snowden climbed the world stage, the intelligence community is just now putting the finishing touches on a computer-driven system for catching insider threats– one that promises not just to detect future Snowdens and Mannings in the act, but also to predict who the next leakers will be.

The new method, meant to identify leakers of classified information but also homegrown terrorists, drug financiers, school ground shooters, and even sexual predators, builds the security equivalent of a “credit score.” It would secretly attach to every individual, while automatically generating and changing scores as behaviors and associations trigger indicators of anomalous activity.”

Read more on Phase Zero.

Edward Snowden[Photo: AP Images]

 

Phase Zero: Spying on the U.S. Submarine That Spies For the NSA and CIA

As many of you now know, last week saw the launch of my national security site, Phase Zero, with Gawker Media. We’ll be posting some great material on that platform, and I encourage all of you to create a Kinja account in order to comment, share and above all, discuss the stories I’m hoping to bring to the public attention. My goal remains the same as it has always been: to engage, expose and explain the shadow world of spying and killing.  

Today’s story, a piece written by myself and Adam Weinstein, is timely and unique.  We’ve discovered that the submarine USS Annapolis, one of the crown jewels of the US Navy, conducts missions on behalf of the NSA and the CIA, and that it’s voyage last year included spying on Israel, Yemen, and Iran, just to name a few countries.  The story is important because of more than just exposing the capabilities of this submarine to collect on (and hack into) wireless routers and cell phones.   It’s also important because it is so rare for anyone to report, in real time, on submarine activity- that is, what they actually “do” out there, other than make port calls and participate in exercises.  These “hunter killer” submarines, as they are often called, may or may not play an important role in counter-terrorism or cyber war; they play some role.  But to appreciate their value, and thus the value of submarines in today’s world, a lot more transparency and reporting would be required.  Take a look at the story to learn more about why the Silent Service is such an integral piece of the cybersecurity realm, and why there should be more reporting tracking their stealth movements.

You can contact me at william.arkin@gawker.com, and follow us at @gawkerphasezero. If you are into the theater of being underground, you can anonymously deliver tips through the Gawker Media SecureDrop. I’ve got a book on drones coming out in July called Unmanned: Drones, Data and the Illusion of Perfect Warfare. I’m open to your input and your questions, tough questions.