DailySA: CIA continues bulk collection program – Forward Observer

DailySA: CIA continues bulk collection program

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Friday, 11 February 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • CIA continues bulk collection program
  • DHS claim trucker protest may disrupt Super Bowl
  • China uses black sites to abduct dissidents
  • CISA, FBI, & NSA advisory on ransomware threats
  • Hazards Warning

UPGRADE TO EARLY WARNING AND GET THESE BRIEFINGS:

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  • LIC Summary/ INTSUM

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

CIA CONTINUES BULK COLLECTION PROGRAM: In a letter to the Director of National Intelligence and Central Intelligence Agency, two Senators are demanding the agency hand over information on its bulk data collection programs. The Senators accuse the agency of collecting private digital communications “entirely outside the statutory framework that Congress and the public believe govern this collection.” (Analyst Comment: The intelligence community is unlikely to give up its data collection programs without substantial restructuring from Congress. The letter raises concerns that intelligence tools are still being weaponized against citizens. Beyond the 4th amendment concerns, the current data security environment makes this information valuable to malign actors for either criminal or state-backed operations. This report will further indict the government’s legitimacy in the minds of many citizens. – D.M.)

DHS CLAIM TRUCKER PROTESTS MAY DISRUPT SUPER BOWL: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has started warning the public about forecasted trucker protests in the United States. DHS claimed that protests could potentially affect the Super Bowl in Los Angeles by blocking roads in major cities. Additionally, federal authorities are concerned that protests may affect President Biden’s state of the Union address on March 1, 2022. (AC: DHS is getting ahead of potential disruptions caused by U.S. protests that are currently organizing. Support for disrupting the Super Bowl is less support than the State of the Union; however, organizers currently have their own challenges, specifically with funding since a Canadian court froze access to over $8M on GiveSendGo. – D.F.)

CHINA USES BLACK SITES IN UAE TO ABDUCT DISSIDENT EXPATS: China is using black sites in the United Arab Emirates to abduct dissidents who have escaped from China and fled to the West. Reports by Sky News indicate Chinese intelligence officials have abducted and detained Chinese expats at various sites across the UAE and coerced them to spy on fellow dissidents, returned them to China, or ‘disappeared’ them altogether. Chinese intelligence agents reportedly contacted Uyghur expats living in Europe pretending to be associates or friends and convinced the expats to “meet up” in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. When the expat arrived in the UAE, they were whisked away by Chinese intelligence agents to a black site where they were interrogated and ordered to spy on fellow dissidents or returned to China against their will. In many cases, Chinese authorities attempted to coerce their targets by threatening the lives of family members still living in China. (AC: China, like Iran, Syria, and Turkey, have taken extreme measures to silence dissent from abroad by their expat dissidents. Chinese intelligence agents have routinely operated in Western countries, including the U.S., to track down and abduct expats for return to China. Chinese authorities have even begun using INTERPOL Red Notices to get Western nations’ law enforcement authorities to assist in these efforts. Since the infamous U.S. failure of the 2018 rendition attempt of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, it is entirely possible that Western journalists, human rights activists, and even foreign government officials who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party could be subject to the same treatment in the future. – M.M.)

CISA, FBI, & NSA ADVISORY ON RANSOMWARE THREATS: Cybersecurity authorities from the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. issued an advisory warning for a sharp increase in ransomware attacks while urging companies to take the necessary measures to mitigate these threats. The FBI stated that attackers have been laying off “big game” in the U.S. and have turned their focus on mid-size victims to “reduce scrutiny.” The FBI also observed ransomware groups developing code to stop critical infrastructure or industrial processes, which may be enacted this year. (AC: The federal government continues to encounter hurdles in public awareness and action. Effective prevention for common cyber vulnerabilities, such as Log4J, are available; however, government frustration lies with companies ignoring their advice. Expect a continual push by federal agencies to convince Congressional leaders to pass legislation requiring private companies to abide by cyber standards. – D.F.)

HAZARDS/WX

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