New details validate old analysis: it had to go to the Oval Office.
The intent of this update is not to be an in-depth treatment with new research, but to address basic questions flying around social media, with the hope of sparing analysts time in their research efforts. That said, it turns out, based on the implications of the new court filing, that a lot of my old analysis has been borne out. There will be plenty of links to that. The original analysis, which has held up, provides background for verifying the explanations outlined below.
The topic is the latest filing by John Durham in the Michael Sussmann case. The purpose of the filing is to advise the federal court of a potential conflict of interest for Sussmann’s legal counsel at the firm Latham & Watkins LLP. Continue reading “New Durham filing in Sussmann case hits paydirt at home plate (although not the way you may think)”
As so often: Interesting timing.
A story from September 2014 carried by ZDNet was recirculated on Twitter a few days ago. The story, by Zack Whittaker for Zero Day, was about “Trusted Third Party” companies, which provide legal compliance services for Internet and communications service providers presented with surveillance subpoenas from law enforcement agencies.
The fundamental basis for this model of compliance operations goes back to the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) of 1994. CALEA was implemented before most instant communications over the Internet – things like text messaging and voice-over-IP – existed, and after 9/11 was updated (in 2004) to keep up with technology and the new imperative for security-focused surveillance.
There are a lot of details to master for a full understanding of what CALEA does, and I recommend starting with Whittaker’s article and perusing this summary and FAQ posted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
For our purposes, here’s a short summary of what matters. Continue reading “A curious development in 2015 related to Sussmann indictment and Alfa Bank saga”
“NSA program” not vindicated.
One thing struck me immediately about the recent al Qaeda threat warning, when U.S. officials claimed that the Hoover-like NSA surveillance program was what enabled us to detect the threat. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, was emphatic in making this claim:
Those [NSA] programs “allow us to have the ability to gather this chatter,” Chambliss said. “If we did not have these programs then we simply wouldn’t be able to listen in on the bad guys.”
What struck me was that this simply isn’t true – at least, not in terms of the comprehensive implication Chambliss seems to suggest. Continue reading “The curious case of the al Qaeda threat warning”
The Iranians have put out a video of Iranian aviators in flight suits walking around the RQ-170 Sentinel, which appears to be intact, although the airframe is on a stand that obscures the underbelly, where the engines and wheel assembly would otherwise be visible.
According to Fox, a US official confirms the drone in the video to be the one reported missing by US operators. A number of web commentators have suggested that the thing in the video is not an RQ-170, but a US official says, at least, that it’s the drone that is missing.
I would agree with some of the doubters that the drone in the Iranian video isn’t 100% identical to the images of the RQ-170 available on the web. But Continue reading “State of play on the drone downed in Iran”