An oversight board designed to protect privacy rights by making sure the government doesn't overstep its bounds has been authorized for years. But politics seems to be getting in the way of launching the panel.
The latest entrant in the arsenal of advanced cyber packages deployed by governments or corporations for use against their adversaries is a piece of malicious software dubbed "Flame." The malware contains a wide variety of espionage tools, including a feature that activates the internal microphone in personal computers and enables the user to monitor a target's conversation. In terms of sophistication, Flame has been compared to the Stuxnet worm, which can physically destroy industrial equipment. But experts say Flame is not a cyber weapon and its emergence as another espionage tool is not without precedent.
In the early days of the Cold War, the U-2 spy plane helped the U.S. collect intelligence on the Soviet Union. More than a half-century later, not only is the U-2 still in commission, but it's also successfully competing against the more expensive, remotely piloted Global Hawk.
For some time now al-Qaeda has been attracting recruits through the Internet. The group has launched jihadi chatrooms and online magazines, and their recruitment efforts have been fairly successful. Now the State Department is fighting back with something they call the "Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications."
Al-Qaida has had a habit of putting out subtle hints about attacks it's planning. In the wake of the recent airline bombing plot that was foiled, officials are looking back to see if the group telegraphed its intentions.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.