Montag, 24. März 2014

Kim Jong Un - The Godfather?

I published a new paper about the long lasting discussion about North Korea and its position in the international organised crime scene - as it seems to the outside analyst:

Criminal connections. State links to organised crime in North Korea, in: Jane's Intelligence Review, April 2014, Vol. 26, Issue 04, pp. 34-37.

The picture above shows Russian-made aircraft technical stuff on the Chong Chon Gang.

There are many aspects coming together, showing a dispersed society, looking for income and wealth. And it shows an influential network of younger North Koreans, trying to get more money, more power and more iPhones. In the near future I will publish a few more paper, going deeper into some special aspects of organised crime, the intelligence requirements in collecting data about it, processing it into information and  helping to crack down organised crime networks.

Sonntag, 12. Januar 2014

Wu Jiangxing knows Neuland

Interesting to read what People´s Daily from China is writing about Cyber Warfare last time: Seems the Chinese want a Network Warfare Unit...but don´t they got it already? LOL

Isn´t it some kind of ironic that Wu Jiangxing compares now the Chinese capabilities with the US or others? He is of course an expert and so it it somehow stupid that he acts like a prima donna.

The Chinese are good and Wu as the chief of the Information Engineering University - People´s daily call him an "academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering" - will know this. Its just funny to know - and ironic as well - that the Information Engineering University had some kind of "contact" to the Nortel Network in Canada... Beside this and other interesting adventures he was a 17th Party Congress PLA delegate. And he is a obviously a nationalist. Chinamail titled already in 2007: "From Soldier to Chinese Engineering Institute Academic".

He seems to be friendly, but for all you may smile and say: Jens Rosenke and me will go deeper in our new analysis about Chinese military espionage... coming soon!

Donnerstag, 9. Januar 2014

Jang Song-thaek, the Torch Group and Kiribati passports

After processing a few data about DPRK and trying to understand the dots I begin to understand (I try to!) more and more the reasons why Jang was executed. And it becomes clearer for me how to understand information in this grey zone of dynasties, elites, princelings, cliques, departments in special ministries...There are some parallels to the former Soviet bloc and Western analysts can expect of course more action of this kind. Maybe one can compare this to a mafia operation getting out of control.

But disturbance is not good for business. And so one can read the Chinese media about the consequences.

I can´t believe that a few Kiribati passports will be the end of the story: I guess that the guys from the North will be able to get some very other passports for doing business...

Donnerstag, 2. Januar 2014

Information sharing

Anybody who is interested in information sharing inside intelligence organisations should listen to a very interesting speech by Sean Dennehy, who was involved in the development of Intellipedia. You can find it here.

Well, instead of the boring national media coverage here in Germany there are many useful and valuable discussions and papers about this and similar projects on the international level.

Freitag, 27. Dezember 2013

Reading and thinking...

Obviously there is a lack of serious analysis of the current leaks from Edward Snowden and the so called “scandals” about hacked mobiles from governmental officials as the German chancellor or other more or less important persons around the globe. It is a real problem to let the media – despite their in parts brave role in the NSA-case – or the intelligence agencies themselves explain the How and Why of surveillance and monitoring communication. Terms from the intelligence sector are too often mixed with conspiracy theories. Technical definitions are described as if there would have never been any statement about them before.

E.g. “Spiegel Online” writes that the Merkel mobile would be on the NSA watch list since 2002. The article points to an ominous unit called "Special Collection Service" (SCS), almost as if the world would hear for the first time from SCS. But it was – beside many, many others – “The Spiegel”, who wrote 2001 about the KGB spy Robert Hanssen: “Für die Russen war er eine glänzende Investition, denn vermutlich hat Hanssen sogar die Kronjuwelen der US-Dienste ausgehändigt: Informationen über den "Special Collection Service", der, gesteuert von der CIA und der Abhörbehörde NSA, auf heimischem Boden ausländische Botschaften überwacht und im Ausland mit modernstem Hightech-Lauschgerät die elektronische Kommunikation von Regierungen, Behörden und Militär mitschneidet.“

And there are plenty of other articles to read, official or gray literature and leaked classified documents. For example one of the few very good reference books writes about the Central Security Service (CSS): "... CSS has within it - like a matryoshka nesting Doll - the quiet more elite and clandestine SCS. Primarily Composed of NSA Specialists, SCS operatives typically use diplomatic cover in order to put in place eavesdropping equipment in areas where access to U.S. intelligence by less laborious means would be considerably more difficult " (Lerner / Lerner ( Ed.): Encyclopedia Of Espionage , Intelligence And Security , Volume 3 , Farmington Hills 2004, p 103) .

What about a rereading of the reports of the European Parliament? Already in October 1999 Duncan Campbell has found clear words for the SCS and the technology they used. Yes, it is connected with archival research and has nothing to do with tabloid press nonsense. Go to the library and read PE 168 184 Volume 2/5: Read and think.

There is enough to study before start planning a counterintelligence operation, but it is necessary to look to similar aspects of intelligence covert work. For a current view on the developments of a few intelligence operational standards I recommend Mark Mazzetti and his last book “The Way Of The Knife. The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the End of the Earth”, published 2013 by Penguin Press. There you find many valuable references to present-day intelligence undercover work, outsourcing, assassination, drones etc. And of course one should read the publications of “them” to understand the special current approach. “No Data, No Analysis” was the meaningful title of an essay in “The Intelligencer. Journal Of U.S. Intelligence Studies” from Fall/Winter 2005. And already in 2000 one could read about “Covert Action and Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century” (Chapter 19 in John Jacob Nutter´s book about “The CIA´s Black Ops”). Of course the work from the SCS and other units is highly connected to covert operations.

A few years earlier Charles D. Ameringer wrote his very readable book about “U.S. Foreign Inteligence: The secret Side Of American History” (1990), especially Chapter 18 about “The Clandestine CIA” is still somehow a modern analysis. But it seems that many of those naive politicians, responsible for intelligence work AND the counterintelligence failures, should read some more offensive, but quite good books like “How to Stage a Military Coup” form David Hebditch and Ken Connor. Maybe then they will understand how visible they can be and will be, if it is important. Not without a reason John Pike says: " It's a black -bag , breaking -and- entering , Mission Impossible -type agency ."

Jeff Stein wrote for the Washington Post in 2010: " ... a joint CIA -NSA surgery known as the Special Collection Service, conduct ultra-sensitive operations against foreign targets from U.S. and allied embassies abroad." Abroad is even Germany! Stone also quoted Matthew M. Aid , an author: "The targets of the special collection units include the cell phone communications of (foreign ) government ministers, police officials, military commanders (and) ... security teams that are following (our) intelligence agents around the city ..."

Beside nervous people from various ministries the intelligence services are targeted by the SCS. Proactive measures are necessary, if the operations of the SCS shall run again walls. To do this one must understand the historical development of the SCS. It has of course technical reasons why the SCS teams are being substantially increasing. The old structures - two to three people and corresponding shift work – are things of the past. Today they cooperate with other units, which are also essential for more black operations, observation etc. Even for this you can find relevant literature. I recommend to go through old FOIA documents. There one might come to code F6 . This would lead to the HQ (Beltsville, MD), possibly one would be able to piece together 600 employees ... looking for F7 would help to understand suspicious SIGINT operations in this country, and perhaps this would lead to SORC/FP. And then prepare the paralysing counter operation...

Samstag, 30. November 2013

DPRK Drug Trade. Very first steps in an amazing case....Work in progress!

I was feeding the beast: Saved all contacts and pictures from social networks, stored them well :)
The first graph is only a snapshot of a few information, there is a lot more coming. Problems of connections, distributions or segmentation will be solved soon.
Maybe there are some dots to be connected right here:
I realise again: Checking Hong Kong Directories is difficult for an outsider, but using some kind of an investigative dashboard, tools, and talking to some people on the ground is useful.

Freitag, 29. November 2013

Lustig... es, die Zugriffe auf den eigenen Blog zu verfolgen: Google machts möglich und mit ein wenig Gefrickl sieht man auch hablbwegs, wer sich welche Postings mit welchem Betrübssystem von wo aus ansieht. Ich grüsse also Dich, "unbekannter" Besucher und komme zu einem (ähnlichen?) Thema: Die privaten Geheimdienste.

In Deutschland dauern ja einige Dinge länger und so erstaunt es mich nicht, dass erst jetzt dieses Thema so ausgebreitet - und in Kürze auch wieder verschwunden sein wird. Die Süddeutsche Zeitung macht daraus einen "Geheimen Krieg" und stellt dazu witzige und interessante, kleine Reportagen ins Netz. Was mir aber auffällt: Das ist nichts besonders Neues und ich habe den leisen Verdacht, dass man sich auch mit der stolz präsentierten sogenannten Datenbank an einem Vorbild vergangener Jahre orientiert hat: "Top Secret America" der Washington Post ging bereits 2010 an den Start. Naja, möglicherweise gab es einen Verweis der Süddeutschen Zeitung auf dieses US-Projekt und ich habe es übersehen.

Und wenn nun hysterisch über Ex-Spione berichtet wird, die  im Auftrag von Unternehmen überwachen, kann ich nur müde lächeln. Dazu hatte ich bereits 2009 etwas geschrieben.

Wie dem auch sei: Die "Top 3 der Mietspione" sind ein alter Hut, spätestens seit dem empfehlenswerten und schon 2008 publizierten Buch von Tim Shorrock. Und ich kann es mir nicht verkneifen, an dieser Stelle nochmals auf ein anderes Buch zu verweisen, was sich genau mit diesem Thema intensiv befasst und auch ein umfangreiches Quellenverzeichnis aufweist - für denjenigen, der sich ernsthaft damit befassen möchte: "Private Intelligence - Geheimdienstliche Aktivitäten nicht-staatlicher Akteure". Das ist meine 2011 bei Springer erschienene Dissertation.

Es ist hier wie bei ähnlichen Themen: Der Prophet im eigenen Lande interessiert eben nicht. Die Debatte, die längst auf europäischer Ebene geführt wird, scheint von Süddeutscher und Co. jedenfalls in Deutschland nicht angestossen zu werden: Die Risiken nämlich, die für eine Demokratie drohen, wenn bestimmte Kernaufgaben des Staates - die aus gutem Grunde bei diesem liegen - an Privatfirmen und Söldner abgegeben werden.