Warren's Feed
Dec 13, 2013

Exclusive – After ‘cataclysmic’ Snowden affair, NSA faces winds of change

FORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency has made dozens of changes in its operations and computer networks to prevent the emergence of another Edward Snowden, including potential disciplinary action, a top NSA official said on Friday, as a White House review panel recommended restraints on NSA spying.

Former NSA contractor Snowden’s disclosures have been “cataclysmic” for the eavesdropping agency, Richard Ledgett, who leads a task force responding to the leaks, said in a rare interview at NSA’s heavily guarded Fort Meade headquarters.

Dec 13, 2013

White House says plans no split of NSA, Cyber Command

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – The Obama administration on
Friday said it will keep one person in charge of both the
National Security Agency spy agency and the military’s Cyber
Command, despite growing calls for splitting the roles in the
wake of revelations about the vast U.S. electronic surveillance
operations.

The White House had considered splitting up the two
agencies, possibly giving the NSA a civilian leader for the
first time in its 61-year history to dampen controversy over its
programs revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden.

Dec 10, 2013

Despite warnings, Pentagon kept ties to controversial helicopter firms

Washington (Reuters) – After almost four years of allegations that two related helicopter companies in Lithuania and Russia were doing substandard work and should be banned from new contracts, the Pentagon continued to give them business, according to interviews and documents seen by Reuters.

As recently as last month, an Army planning document shows, the service was weighing contracting helicopter overhauls from the firms, which have been the subject of multiple internal warnings and two Defense Department Inspector General reports.

Dec 10, 2013

Exclusive: Despite warnings, Pentagon kept ties to controversial helicopter firms

Washington (Reuters) – After almost four years of allegations that two related helicopter companies in Lithuania and Russia were doing substandard work and should be banned from new contracts, the Pentagon continued to give them business, according to interviews and documents seen by Reuters.

As recently as last month, an Army planning document shows, the service was weighing contracting helicopter overhauls from the firms, which have been the subject of multiple internal warnings and two Defense Department Inspector General reports.

Nov 27, 2013

U.S. nears decision to split leadership of NSA, Cyber Command: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House is nearing a decision on splitting up the eavesdropping National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, which conducts cyber warfare, a proposed reform prompted in part by revelations of NSA’s widespread snooping, individuals briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

As part of the emerging plan, the NSA likely would get a civilian director for the first time in its 61-year history, the individuals said.

Nov 13, 2013

Pentagon cancels plans to buy Russian helicopters

WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – The Pentagon no longer will
buy Russian helicopters for the Afghan Air Force from
Rosoboronexport, a state-owned arms exporter that also sells
weapons to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,
U.S. defense officials and a leading Senate opponent of such
deals said on Wednesday.

The switch in Pentagon policy appears to end, at least for
now, its plans to buy an additional 15 Russian Mi-17 helicopters
for $345 million, sources familiar with the matter said.

Nov 13, 2013

Pentagon cancels plans to buy Russian helicopters: senator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon will no longer buy Russian helicopters for the Afghan Air Force from Rosoboronexport, a state-owned arms exporter that also sells weapons to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a leading Senate opponent of such deals said on Wednesday.

The switch in Pentagon policy appears to end, at least for now, its plans to buy an additional 15 Russian Mi-17 helicopters for $345 million, sources familiar with the matter said.

Nov 8, 2013

Exclusive: Snowden persuaded other NSA workers to give up passwords – sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden used login credentials and passwords provided unwittingly by colleagues at a spy base in Hawaii to access some of the classified material he leaked to the media, sources said.

A handful of agency employees who gave their login details to Snowden were identified, questioned and removed from their assignments, said a source close to several U.S. government investigations into the damage caused by the leaks.

Oct 22, 2013

Saudi Arabia warns of shift away from U.S. over Syria, Iran

DOHA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Upset at President Barack Obama’s policies on Iran and Syria, members of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family are threatening a rift with the United States that could take the alliance between Washington and the kingdom to its lowest point in years.

Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief is vowing that the kingdom will make a “major shift” in relations with the United States to protest perceived American inaction over Syria’s civil war as well as recent U.S. overtures to Iran, a source close to Saudi policy said on Tuesday.

Oct 20, 2013

As ties warm, U.S. restarts security assistance to Pakistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has quietly restarted security assistance to Pakistan, U.S. officials said on Sunday, after freezing much of that aid during a period of strained relations beginning with the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

While the move to free up the aid has been underway for some months, it became public as President Barack Obama prepares for a White House meeting on Wednesday with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.