Espionage or spying, is the act of obtaining secret or confidential information without the permission of the holder of the information. Spies help agencies uncover secret information. Any individual or spy ring (a cooperating group of spies), in the service of a government, company or independent operation, can commit espionage. The practice is clandestine, as it is by definition unwelcome and in many cases illegal and punishable by law. Espionage is a method of "intelligence" gathering which includes information gathering from public sources.
Espionage is often part of an institutional effort by a government or commercial concern. However, the term tends to be associated with state spying on potential or actual enemies for military purposes. Spying involving corporations is known as industrial espionage.
The Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI was a leftist activist group operational in the US during the early 1970s. Their only known action was breaking into a two-man Media, Pennsylvania office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and stealing over 1,000 classified documents. They then mailed these documents anonymously to several US newspapers to expose numerous illegal FBI operations which were infringing on the First Amendment rights of American civilians. Most news outlets initially refused to publish the information, as it related to ongoing operations and they contended disclosure might have threatened the lives of agents or informants. However, The Washington Post, after affirming the veracity of the files which the Commission sent them, ran a front-page story on March 24, 1971.
"The complete collection of political documents ripped off from the F.B.I. office in Media, Pa., March 8, 1971" was published for the first time as the March, 1972 issue of WIN Magazine, a journal associated with the War Resisters League. The documents revealed the COINTELPRO operation, and led to the Church Committee and the cessation of this operation by the FBI. Noam Chomsky has stated:
According to its analysis of the documents in this FBI office, 1 percent were devoted to organized crime, mostly gambling; 30 percent were "manuals, routine forms, and similar procedural matter"; 40 percent were devoted to political surveillance and the like, including two cases involving right-wing groups, ten concerning immigrants, and over 200 on left or liberal groups. Another 14 percent of the documents concerned draft resistance and "leaving the military without government permission." The remainder concerned bank robberies, murder, rape, and interstate theft.
The "Collateral Murder" videos represent 39 minutes of footage showing an attack by the crew of an AH-64 Apache helicopter on a group of men, some armed, in the Iraqi city of Baghdad. The video was made available on SIPRNet where it was downloaded by Bradley Manning and transmitted to Wikileaks, which put out a public appeal for supercomputer time to assist in its decryption. Wikileaks called the video "Collateral Murder" because the helicopter continued to fire on Reuters journalist Saeed Chmagh after he appeared to be injured on the ground.
Barrett Brown (born August 14, 1981) is an American journalist, essayist and satirist. He is often referred to as an unofficial spokesperson for the hacktivist collective Anonymous, a label he disputes. He founded Project PM, an online distributed think tank, to facilitate analysis of the vast troves of hacked emails and other leaked information that may shed light on the sometimes questionable inner workings of the cyber-military-industrial complex.
He has spent over a year in a Texas jail and faces over a hundred more in federal prison as he awaits trial on an assortment of 17 charges filed in three indictments that include 15 years for sharing a http link to information publicly released during the 2012 Stratfor email leak on the ProjectPM Wiki, and five years for each of several counts of conspiring to publicize restricted information about an FBI agent and his family. He is held under a gag order prohibiting him from discussing his case with the media.
ECHELON, originally a code-name, is now used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement
(Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, referred to by a number of abbreviations, including AUSCANNZUKUS and Five Eyes). It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications. It was created in the early 1960s to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War, and was formally established in the year of 1971.
By the end of the 20th century, the system referred to as "ECHELON" had evolved beyond its military/diplomatic origins, to also become "... a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications."
The system has been reported in a number of public sources. One of the earliest reports to describe the program, code-named "ECHELON", was Duncan Campbell's 1988 article, "Somebody's listening", published in the New Statesman. The program's capabilities and political implications were investigated by a committee of the European Parliament during 2000 and 2001 with a report published in 2001, and by author James Bamford in his books on the National Security Agency of the United States. The European Parliament stated in its report that the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links.
Bamford describes the system as the software controlling the collection and distribution of civilian telecommunications traffic conveyed using communication satellites, with the collection being undertaken by ground stations located in the footprint of the downlink leg.
Orwell pictured by the National Union of Journalists in 1933
The bibliography of George Orwell includes journalism, essays, books, and fiction written by the British writer Eric Arthur Blair (pictured), pen name George Orwell. Orwell first achieved widespread acclaim with his fictional novellaAnimal Farm and cemented his place in history as a novelist with the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four shortly before his death. While fiction accounts for a small fraction of his total output, these two novels are his best-selling works, having sold almost fifty million copies in sixty-two languages by 2007--more than any other pair of books by a twentieth-century author. In addition, Orwell wrote book-length investigations of poverty in Britain in the form of Down and Out in Paris and London and The Road to Wigan Pier and one of the first retrospectives on the Spanish Civil War in Homage to Catalonia. The impact of Orwell's large corpus is manifested in additions to the Western canon and the adoption of "Orwellian" as a description of totalitarian societies. (Full list...)
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