Pamela Meyer: How to spot a liar in this revealing video presentation

On any given day we’re lied to from 10 to 200 times, and the clues to detect those lie can be subtle and counter-intuitive. Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, shows the manners and “hotspots” used by those trained to recognize deception — and she argues honesty is a value worth preserving.

www.intelagencies.com

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Henry Sapiecha

SPYING WORLDWIDE IS EASIER THAN EVER BECAUSE OR EASY ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY TO DO IT IN MANY FORMATS

I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE……

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Somewhere between the cyber espionage that outed the US as Big Brother Inc and the phone-hacking scandal that sank Rupert Murdoch’s British form of journalism, the real news of the world may be Spies ‘R’ Us.

There is now enough equipment available via the internet to turn anybody into their own James and Ja’mie Bonds.

The US/Murdoch shenanigans – plus the report that some embassies are being used to intercept Asian phone calls and data as part of a US-global spying network – came courtesy of high-end, high-tech gear operated by highly experienced pros.

But people can buy lots of devices – mobile phone monitors, listening bugs, night-vision cameras, vehicle tracking equipment, thermal imaging cameras, video cameras hidden in pens, flash light/stun guns and a hundred other pieces of equipment – that are relatively cheap and light years removed from the invisible ink and shortwave radio of the spy craft of yesteryear.

Private detectives say the rise of the spy gear trade came out of the spouse-busting business.

”It was helpful in divorce cases but quickly became evident how useful this sort of equipment is in various situations,” one former NSW Australian police officer said. ”The whole business got a huge kick along after 9/11 when heightened fears made everybody just a little bit scared of things they never once feared.”

The US is taking flak now because of reports its National Security Agency monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. It’s a fine irony. Ms Merkel once recalled her parents were nervous whenever she talked for too long on the phone. ”Hang up! The Stasi is listening and it’s all being recorded,” her mother said, according to one biography.

Coincidentally, as the Merkel revelations raged, Russia was forced to deny Italian reports it had equipped USB flash drives and cables to charge the mobile phones given to foreign delegates to the G20 meeting at St Petersburg in September with technology to retrieve data from computers and telephones.

Meanwhile, whistleblower Thomas Drake, a former senior executive at the NSA, told the ABC this week it was alarming that a nation would spy on those it considered an ally.

”Spying on others is considered the world’s second oldest profession and so the idea that nation states would engage in spying on others is no surprise, not at all,” he said.

”I think what’s particularly pernicious here is the fact we’re actually listening on the personal communications of the highest levels of governments in countries that are supposed to be our allies and are actually partnered with us in ensuring that we deal and defend against threats to international order and stability.”

Since humans started building empires and information considered secret or confidential was obtained without permission, people have been calling military intelligence an oxymoron.

But it took the British to turn spying into high romance. At empire high noon, the 1903 novel The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service by Erskine Childers established the spy thriller. Half a century later, as the sun set on empire, John Le Carre’s George Smiley and Ian Fleming’s James Bond kept the Union Jack fluttering.

But Smiley’s pragmatic calculations and Bond’s louche bedroom antics have been replaced in real life by high-tech cloak and dagger and, as WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden prove, the rise of Everyman espionage.

The methods

Hidden cameras
Commercially available, can operate in low light conditions and detect motion.

Hidden camera detector
Scans for power use, transmissions or even low levels of light reflected back from a tiny camera lens.

GPS trackers
Can be attached magnetically to vehicles. Battery powered to operate for weeks.

Directional microphones
Magnifies sound from a long distance away and stores in a digital recording device.

Camera glasses
Minature cameras attached to sunglasses can covertly record anything in line of sight.

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WikiLeaks releases documents on global surveillance industry

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WikiLeaks has stepped up its campaign to expose the global surveillance industry with the release of a new collection of sensitive documents from private intelligence and information technology companies.

The transparency group has published 294 documents from 92 contractor firms providing surveillance and intelligence technology to governments around the world.

WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange said “Spy Files 3”, the third tranche of documents released on the subject, was part of his organisation’s “ongoing commitment to shining a light on the secretive mass surveillance industry”.

“The files form a valuable resource for journalists and citizens alike, detailing and explaining how secretive state intelligence agencies are merging with the corporate world in their bid to harvest all human electronic communication,” he said.

The released documents include sensitive sales brochures and presentations used by companies to encourage security, intelligence and police services to acquire surveillance systems and services. Technologies on offer include “lawful interception” systems, mass telecommunications monitoring, network recording, signals and communications intelligence and listening devices.

The WikiLeaks release shows internet spying capabilities now being sold on the intelligence market include detecting encrypted and obfuscated internet usage such as Skype, BitTorrent, VPN, SSH and SSL. The documents also reveal how contractors work with intelligence and police agencies to obtain decryption keys.

The documents detail bulk interception methods for voice, SMS, MMS, email, fax and satellite phone communications. The released documents also show intelligence contractors are selling capabilities to analyse web and mobile interceptions in real-time.

One 2011 document shows how companies such as British-based Gamma Group, German-based Desoma and Swiss-based Dreamlab are working in concert to “create Telecommunications Intelligence Systems for different telecommunications networks to fulfil the customers’ needs” regarding “massive data interception and retention”.

Other documents in the release show evidence of these technologies being used to infect users in Oman with remote-controlled spyware. The FinFly ‘iProxy’ installation by Dreamlab shows how targets are identified and malware is covertly inserted alongside a legitimate download while keeping the intended download functioning as expected. The target identification methods mean that anybody connecting through the same network would be systematically and automatically intercepted and infected as well, even unintended targets.

British-based privacy advocacy organisation Privacy International said the latest WikiLeaks release “further reveals the extent of which Western corporations are equipping repressive regimes and non-democratic governments to target activists, journalists, and human rights defenders”.

“Unequivocally, the newest ‘Spy Files’ documents show that this dark industry only continues to grow, in both technical capability and customer base, all while amassing billions in profits off the suffering of individuals,” Privacy International researcher Kenneth Page said.

“The types of surveillance being marketed by these companies represent some of the most sophisticated technologies available – whether it’s intrusion software, data mining, Trojans, location tracking, deep packet inspection, facial recognition or mass monitoring,” he said.

“And just like an advertisement you would see on television or in a magazine, spy firms are marketing these tools with flashy graphics, sales-speak and guarantees on effectiveness. It’s quite jarring to see such dangerous technologies being presented in such an unthreatening fashion, given that these products represent one of the biggest threats to human rights in the 21st century.”

The global trade of surveillance technology is estimated to be worth up to $US5 billion ($5.5 billion) a year. By comparison, the “traditional” global trade in small arms (excluding the sale of ammunition) was worth $US4 billion a year.

WikiLeaks has also published information on the movement of private intelligence corporate executives and sales personnel, thereby revealing the geographical focus of their activities.

Mr Assange said the WikiLeaks “Counter Intelligence Unit” has been “tracking the trackers”.

“The WikiLeaks Counter Intelligence Unit (WLCIU) operates to defend WikiLeaks’ assets, staff and sources, and, more broadly, to counter threats against investigative journalism and the public’s right to know,” he said. “The WLCIU has collected data on the movements of key players in the surveillance contractor industry, including senior employees of Gamma, Hacking Team and others as they travel through Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brazil, Spain, Mexico and other countries.”

No further details of the new unit have been revealed. However it is a matter of public record that former US intelligence contractor turned whistle-blower Edward Snowden has been associated with WikiLeaks since his travel from Hong Kong to Russia in June.

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Henry Sapiecha

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