Mark's Feed
Jan 9, 2014

White House reviews spying targets for potential embarrassment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House officials are reviewing National Security Agency spying targets to weigh whether the risk of embarrassment to the United States if snooping on them is exposed is worth any gains to national security from the surveillance.

Two U.S. government sources said two officials assigned to the White House are conducting a detailed assessment of target lists used by the NSA, as part of a review of intelligence policy sparked by leaks from former contractor Edward Snowden.

Jan 2, 2014

Qaeda leader held in Lebanon raised funds for anti-Assad militants -experts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Saudi leader of an al-Qaeda spinoff group arrested in Lebanon this week was a key fundraiser in the Gulf for militants fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, official and private experts say.

The Lebanese army arrested Muhammad al-Majid, who leads the Lebanon-based Abdullah Azzam Brigades which claimed a double suicide attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut last November.

Dec 30, 2013

U.S. concerned about threats to Sochi Olympics, offers help

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government is concerned Islamist militants may be preparing attacks aimed at disrupting the Winter Olympic games in Sochi in February and has offered closer cooperation with Russia on security.

One militant group had issued explicit direct threats to disrupt the Olympics, a State Department official said.

Dec 21, 2013

Target probe eyes overseas hackers; stolen cards for sale online

WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Investigators believe that
overseas hackers were responsible for the cyber attack on U.S.
retailer Target Corp that compromised up to 40 million
payment cards during the first three weeks of the holiday
shopping season, a person familiar with the matter said on
Friday.

The person, who was not authorized to talk publicly about
the matter, declined to say how the hackers got in or where
investigators believe they are based, saying investigators don’t
want to show their hand to the criminals.

Dec 20, 2013

Video raises worries of Britons fighting with Syria militants

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An Internet video surfaced this week depicting a masked man in Syria with a working-class British accent, urging British Muslims to travel there and join one of the most radical Islamist rebel militias fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

In the three-minute video, the man, wearing a black hood with eyeholes, loads what he says is a Glock 19 pistol with bullets he says come from the Free Syrian Army, a more moderate rebel group supported by the West.

Dec 20, 2013

Target probe looks overseas, stolen cards offered online

WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Investigators believe that
overseas hackers were responsible for the cyber attack on U.S.
retailer Target Corp that compromised up to 40 million
payment cards during the first three weeks of the holiday
shopping season, a person familiar with the matter said on
Friday.

The person, who was not authorized to talk publicly about
the matter, said that government investigators do not believe
that the hackers had inside help.

Dec 20, 2013

Investigators look overseas for hackers in Target case: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Investigators believe that overseas hackers were responsible for the cyber attack on U.S. retailer Target Corp that compromised up to 40 million payment cards during the first three weeks of the holiday shopping season, a person familiar with the matter said.

The person, who was not authorized to talk publicly about the matter, said that government investigators do not believe that the hackers had inside help.

Dec 20, 2013

With cash, Ukraine’s political foes bring fight to Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rival political factions facing each other on the streets of Ukraine have also enlisted heavyweight lobbyists in Washington, some with connections at the highest levels of U.S. government, to promote their causes to American policymakers, media and members of Congress.

Among the high-profile lobbyists registered to represent organizations backing Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s government are prominent Democratic lobbyist Anthony Podesta and former Republican congressional leaders Vin Weber and Billy Tauzin.

Dec 18, 2013

White House review panel proposes curbs on some NSA programs

WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (Reuters) – A White House-appointed panel
on Wednesday proposed curbs on some key National Security Agency
surveillance operations, recommending limits on a program to
collect records of billions of telephone calls and new tests
before Washington spies on foreign leaders.

Among the panel’s proposals, made in the wake of revelations
by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the most contentious
may be its recommendation that the eavesdropping agency halt
collection of the phone call records, known as “metadata.”

Dec 17, 2013

U.S. judge says phone surveillance program likely unlawful

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government’s gathering of Americans’ phone records is likely unlawful, a judge ruled on Monday, raising “serious doubts” about the value of the National Security Agency’s so-called metadata counter terrorism program.

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen,” U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, appointed by Republican President George W. Bush in 2002, wrote in a 68-page ruling.