Monday, April 15, 2019

Join OSINT NEWS!



     JOIN HERE! and enjoy free monthly updates on U.S., Russian and other foreign intelligence agency happenings.
     Check out the latest "Spy Agency Happenings!" newsletter. I search through over 150 U.S. and foreign newspapers and journals and hand-pick relevant items centered around a theme for each newsletter.

I enjoy discussing Intelligence community issues and would like to hear from you. Contact me on the Secure Contact Form

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence
Officers (AFIO) and writes about the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and foreign intelligence agencies. He authors the "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean and Florida Keys" spy thriller series.



Open Source Intelligence a major resource for Intelligence Community

This is an old report but it is a must read for OSINT professionals is the CRS Report to Congress entitled Open Source Intelligence: Issues For Congress (December 5, 2007, Order Code: RL34270). The CRS report summary (pgs. 24-25) mentions that OSINT was slighted in the past by the intelligence community (IC), but the consensus has changed rapidly. Thus, the Intelligence Community (IC) created the Assistant Director for National Intelligence for Open Source and the National Open Source Center.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Offiers (AFIO) and is author of the "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster spy series." His ideas are his own and do not represent any organization he's a member of. We welcome your ideas and comments- contact us on the Secure Contact Form.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

2/09/19 Issue of "Spy Agency Happenings!"- the Russian disinformation campaign

   


     This 2/9/19 issue of “Spy Agency Happenings!” is all about Russian disinformation, how it affects America’s democratic institutions, and how the government is combatting it.
    Learn about the infamous Russian troll farm in St Petersburg and how it has ramped up its disinformation campaign against America. This pro-Putin, oligarch-funded operation spent nearly as much in the first six months of 2018 as it did the entire year before. Between Jan. 2016 and June 2018, the Internet Research Agency’s total budget was over $35 million (more than 2 billion rubles).
     The 2/9/19 “Spy Agency Happenings!” issue also warns about a new hi-tech graphic that will make the spreading of disinformation and distrust online much worse than ever before. Rapid advances in deep-learning algorithms to synthesize video and audio content have made possible the production of “deep fakes”—highly realistic and difficult-to-detect depictions of real people doing or saying things they never said or did. Expect to receive this realistic trash not only from Russia, but from an ever-larger array of governments, nonstate actors, and individuals. We all will be affected as this ability to advance lies using hyper-realistic, fake evidence takes a huge leap forward.
     The issue also reports on how the U.S. Cyber Command targets individual Russian operatives to try to deter them from spreading disinformation to interfere in future elections, telling them that American operatives have identified them and are tracking their work. The Justice Department outlined a campaign of "information warfare" by the Russians aimed at influencing the midterm elections- it highlights the broad threat that the American government sees from Moscow’s influence campaign.
     The newsletter also introduces a website called Polygraph.info, which is not run by the White House, State Department or CIA. It published recordings by Russian trolls from one of its reporters who got them from a source close to the Kremlin. Polygraph is a relatively new fact-checking arm of an obscure, diminutive media effort by the U.S. to highlight Russian misdeeds and counter Russian propaganda.
     Lastly, view our VIDEOS section of the 2/9/19 “Spy Agency Happenings” issue! It’s devoted to Russian disinformation-spreading. The videos show how Russian trolls collect your personal information, how they weaponize your social media feed, the inside of Russia's internet 'troll factory', and how to spot a Russian troll online. One video shows how Tucker of Fox News pushes 'Russian propaganda'.

Robert Morton is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers and writes the "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster of the Caribbean and Florida Keys" spy series. Contact him HERE.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

President Trump war against the U.S. Intelligence Community

     This 12/29/18 Spy Agency Happenings! Issue is all about the widening gap between President Trump and the U.S. Intelligence Community. The president has repeatedly rejected the conclusions of the CIA and FBI on major foreign policy issues. Why did President Donald Trump rebuke America's Intelligence Community and fail to endorse their assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, saying he doesn't "see any reason why" Russia would be responsible?
     As the months rolled on into his presidency, it became clear that President Trump had no use for intelligence professionals’ assessments on a range of other issues. He criticized the intelligence agencies’ findings on Saudi Arabia, North Korea Latin America and Iran.
     *We delve into the reasons why Trump doesn't like to read and skips the daily written intelligence report, the President's Daily Brief (PDB), unlike past presidents. 
     *We explore why President Donald Trump considered revoking the security clearances of at least six former national security and intelligence officials who have been publicly critical of his administration.
     *We show 8 videos that explain Trump’s rocky road with the U.S. Intelligence Community and show his actual trash-talking the IC. One of the videos is particularly interesting- it shows the consequences of his blasting the IC.   
     And, there’s much more! We hope you enjoy this 12/29/18 Spy Agency Happenings! Issue.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A tribute to America's fallen soldiers and intelligence operatives

     

Mrs. Van Houten, the lady around the block

     It’s odd how childhood experiences shape many of our adult sensitivities. As a preschooler growing up in the quiet, tree-lined bedroom community of Rocky River, a far western suburb of Cleveland, I experienced this phenomenon.

     My neighborhood was familiar and friendly. Few new people moved in or out and everyone knew everyone else. At age four, I was pretty much on my own since both my older brothers attended 3rd and 6th grades at nearby Kensington Elementary School.

     One day, my mom asked me to visit an older friend of hers who lived around the block. My mom was age 36 and her older friend was probably around age 50. She told me her name was Mrs. Van Houten and she would be waiting for me with homemade chocolate chip cookies, my favorite!

     I made it around the block and knocked at her door in less than a minute. The year was 1951, and I discovered paradise! Her back yard had a log cabin play fort full of toys and parked alongside was a solid steel fire engine pedal car painted with a bright-red, lead-based paint and a shiny chrome steering wheel and detachable ladders.

     Mrs. Van Houten sat on her back patio, sipping coffee, and watched me play. I’d take a break, sit down with her and gobble down a few more chocolate chip cookies while we played Mr. Potato Head, sticking face pieces into a real potato. Back then, the game only had the face pieces!

     Suddenly, I noticed her eyes grew watery. I asked her why she was crying. She laughed, then wiped her eyes, patted my head and said, “I’m fine, Bobby. It’s just that our son used to play out back here.” I was only age four but knew not to pursue the matter further.

     After a fun day of playing in my new-found paradise, I returned home and told my mother what happened. I had no concept of what or where Korea was or that eight armored North Korean divisions attacked across the 38th parallel and invaded the Republic of South Korea. Other than my pet hamster dying, I had no concept of death and couldn’t imagine that 37,000 American army soldiers and marines were killed in driving them back north. I didn’t know that Mrs. Van Houten’s son was one of the fallen and that he joined the army at age 19… and never came back home.

     My mother replied to me, “It’s pretty hard to explain, Bobby. But, I know that it would be nice if you visit my friend now and then… I think she’d like that.”

     Yes, it’s odd how childhood experiences affect us later in our adult lives. Even though that experience happened 67 years ago, every time I hear of  young American soldiers or intelligence operatives killed somewhere around the world, my mind flashes to their loved ones who were waiting for them to come back home. My mind wonders back to the lady I used to visit who lived around the block who made chocolate chip cookies, Mrs. Van Houten.



Thursday, September 20, 2018

POLL: Did Trump collude with Russia to steal and release the emails?




Russian intelligence operatives and Trump associates stole the emails from Trump’s opponents and secretly collaborated in releasing them to maximally benefit Trump and help him win the presidency. 

What do you think? Take this quick poll and see how you compare to others. https://vote.pollcode.com/48975257

Robert Morton is the author of the "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean, Florida Keys and Key West" spy series.