Intelligence

Beyond Google: The Dark Side of the Internet

Most people assume that a Google search can identify most of the information available on a given subject. But beyond the capabilities of Google or any other search engine, there is another online world. In fact, the number of non-indexed internet sites is estimated to be 500 times larger than what a search engine can reveal. And where the sun doesn’t shine, there exists a dark side of the Internet that is a conduit for all types of illegal and often dangerous activity.

3 Reasons to Be Skeptical of Seymour Hersh’s Account of the Bin Laden Raid

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published an article Sunday about the 2011 raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan that immediately went viral, crashing the London Review of Books Web site.

Among its striking claims: Bin Laden was a “prisoner” of the Pakistani intelligence service in his Abbottabad compound since 2006; the United States learned of Bin Laden’s whereabouts through a former Pakistani intelligence officer; Saudi Arabia was “financing Bin Laden’s upkeep”; and Pakistan’s military helped Washington plan the raid.

The Undercooked Debate on Domestic Drones

When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Washington this week, I wonder if he and President Obama will commiserate over the drones invading their personal space. Last week, a lightly radioactive drone was found on the roof of the Prime Minister’s office in Tokyo; last January, an employee of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency accidentally crashed his personal UAV on the White House lawn. Neither incident was considered a serious threat, but both are gravely concerning.

The Estonia Model: A Conversation With President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on a Free and Secure Internet

The Republic of Estonia built a new government from the ground up, resulting in the world's most comprehensive and efficient “e-government.” Citizens are empowered by a free nationwide Wi-Fi network and a school program that boosts tech competence at every age level. But being an early adopter also has its risks. In 2007, Estonia was one of the first victims of a large-scale cyberattack that mostly targeted government websites and financial services. The attack provided the country's security experts with valuable experience and information in dealing with such incidents.

Cyber Threats and Vulnerabilities

Cyber threats, and related vulnerabilities, are becoming more numerous and sophisticated. And the job of keeping one step ahead of the problem is a most daunting task. During a recent Director's Forum, Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, delivered a keynote speech about the evolving threats and the Obama Administration's comprehensive strategy to address them. She also discussed the topic with Wilson Center Director, Jane Harman and fielded question from participants in the public forum. That’s the focus of this edition of REWIND.

How the CIA can get from spy to cyberspy

Agility and digital savvy traditionally haven't been the strong suits of government agencies, so it's encouraging that CIA Director John O. Brennan wants a big investment in cyberespionage and a new Directorate of Digital Innovation as part of what he calls a “bold” reorganization of the CIA. Brennan's overhaul is commendable, but it's urgent to do more to make his agency cyber literate.

Disrupting the Intelligence Community

Some 40 years have passed since the Church Committee’s sweeping investigation of U.S. intelligence practices, fresh on the heels of the Watergate scandal. And ten years have gone by since the last major reorganization of the country’s spy agencies, enacted in the wake of 9/11. Both efforts led to a host of reforms—among them, the creation of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and the adoption of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, which I helped shepherd through Congress.

Codename Nikolaus

Codename Nikolaus:

The Early Years of German-American Intelligence Cooperation

On St Nicholas Day, December 6th 1947, Reinhard Gehlen began to organize a spy ring with the help of the US Army intelligence and the CIA in Pullarch, Bavaria. 68 years later, Pullarch remains the headquarters of the Bundesnachtrichtendienst (BND), Germany's Federal Intelligence Service.

The Soviet-Vietnamese Intelligence Relationship during the Vietnam War

In CWIHP Working Paper No. 73, "The Soviet-Vietnamese Intelligence Relationship during the Vietnam War: Cooperation and Conflict," Merle Pribbenow explores the role played by Soviet Union’s intelligence agencies, namely the KGB and the GRU, in the Vietnam War.

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