Cyber Round Up: Scalia, the 4th Amendment, and Cyberspace; NATO’s sites hacked; NSA’s phone call recording program

  • Last week, NATO reported that several of its public websites had been hacked.  An article on the incident by Reuters explains that the attack appeared to be linked to the growing tensions in Crimea.  However, the article continues, most services have since been restored.  One NATO official commented on the incident by saying:

    It doesn’t impede our ability to command and control our forces. At no time was there any risk to our classified networks.

  • Secrecy News reports that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a classified “execute order” last June pertaining to conduct of military cyber activities.  However, as the article explains, since even its title is classified, the essence of the order cannot be determined, beyond the fact that, as an “execute order,” it clearly authorized a military operation of some kind.
  • According to a report by the Washington Post, the National Security Agency (NSA) has a surveillance program that allows it to record “100 percent” of a foreign country’s phone calls such that, up to a month later, the NSA can rewind and replay those calls in order to reexamine them.

    The voice interpretation program, called MYSTIC, began in 2009.  Its RETRO tool, short for “retrospective retrieval,” and related projects reached full capacity against the first-target nation in 2011.

  • The NSA has refused requests to reveal the amount of water it is using to operate its new data center in Bluffdale, Utah, citing “matters of national security,” according to Wired.

    By computing the water usage rate, one could ultimately determine the computing power and capabilities of the Utah Data Center.  Armed with this information, one could then deduce how much intelligence NSA is collecting and maintaining,

    said David Sherman, NSA associate director for policy and records.

  • The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) practice of releasing hard copy only documents in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests is being challenged in federal court, Secrecy News reports.  Jeffrey Scudder initiated the lawsuit in connection with his FOIA request for electronic copies of 419 articles from an in-house CIA journal.
  • In light of allegations of corruption that have been launched against the Turkish government via Twitter and just ten days before elections, the site was blocked by the nation’s Internet watchdog, reports the Wall Street Journal. “Access to Twitter may be blocked as a last resort to avert the unjust treatment of our citizens in case of a continuation of this ignorance of the court rulings [mandating the removal of certain tweets,]” read a public statement published on the state-run Anadolu news agency.
  • According to the New York Times, classified documents reveal the United States government (USG) has created backdoors into Huawei’s networks.  This is particularly interesting given the USG’s open consideration of Huawei as a security threat–even going as far as to block business deals out of fear that the Chinese tech giant would create its own backdoors into US networks.
  • On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia visited Brooklyn Law School and shared his prediction that NSA surveillance program issues are heading to the high court, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.  Although Justice Scalia stated that he didn’t want to prejudge the issue of Fourth Amendment application in cyberspace, Bloomberg reports that, when asked, the Justice said, “ooh,” and was “obviously tickled.”

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2 Responses to “Cyber Round Up: Scalia, the 4th Amendment, and Cyberspace; NATO’s sites hacked; NSA’s phone call recording program”

  1. […] As the Times further articulates, this message seems to operate dually as one of both attack and restraint, which may seem oddly timed especially in light of the allegations that surfaced last week that the U.S. created backdoors into Huawei networks. […]

  2. […] access to Twitter, officials made a similar play against YouTube, according to AP reports.  (Here’s the link to the “Cyber Round Up” on the initial social media block). Again, these actions came just days before crucial local […]

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Authors

Untitled Document
Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. She is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography

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