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Iran: We Executed Nuke Scientist Who Spied for US

Shahram Amiri had turned up in US, was returned to Iran in 2010

(Newser) - Iran has executed a nuclear scientist who gave the US intelligence about the country's contested nuclear program, Iran's official news agency, IRNA, is confirming. The Sunday report quotes a spokesman for the Iranian judiciary, Gholamhosein Mohseni Ejehi, as confirming the execution of Shahram Amiri . He says Amiri "... More »

FBI Worker Pleads Guilty to Being Spy for China

Kun Shan Chun had top security clearance, is accused of sending FBI docs overseas

(Newser) - An FBI electronics technician with top security clearance pleaded guilty on Monday to funneling photographs of FBI documents and other sensitive information to China, the AP reports. Prosecutors in Manhattan federal court charged Kun Shan Chun—a naturalized US citizen who goes by "Joey Chun"—with making false... More »

Judge: No, Your Cellphone Can't Be Used to Track You

First time a federal judge has thrown out evidence culled thanks to 'stingray' device

(Newser) - A surveillance device that "tricks" cellphones into revealing their location has been a civil rights concern since it debuted. Now, for the first time, a federal judge agrees that using such a tool to ID a suspect's home without a warrant is an "unreasonable" violation of the... More »

Philly PD Admits Its SUV Was Masked as Google Maps Vehicle

SUV decked out with technology to spy on drivers (and fake Google decal)

(Newser) - The Philly PD has a "mystery" on its hands, and it involves one of its own vehicles. On Wednesday, a University of Pennsylvania professor spotted an SUV near the Philadelphia Convention Center, souped up with two high-tech license-plate readers and a placard linking it to the Pennsylvania State Police—... More »

SeaWorld: Yes, Our Workers Spied as 'Animal Activists'

But company promises it's not going to do it anymore

(Newser) - SeaWorld has told "management to end the practice in which certain employees posed as animal rights activists," company CEO Joel Manby said Thursday morning, per the Orlando Sentinel . He told an earnings call that the practice was ostensibly "to maintain the safety and security of employees, customers... More »

Villagers Release Vulture They Thought Was Israeli Spy

It was an honest mistake

(Newser) - A falsely accused Israeli spy has been returned home after being captured in Lebanon this week, and authorities are confident it will soon be soaring over Israel's countryside once again, Haaretz reports. Oh, it should be mentioned the suspected spy is a giant vulture, one that was released into... More »

While Spying on Israel, NSA Recorded US Lawmakers, Too

Agency did keep 'trash talk' against administration out of reports: US officials

(Newser) - In 2013, after Edward Snowden dropped his NSA bombshell, President Obama called for an end to spying on certain world leaders. But Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli bigwigs remained on the "keep an eye on" list for "compelling national security" reasons, current and ex-US officials tell the Wall ... More »

Rogue Hackers May Hurt ISIS More Than Anonymous

Ghost Security Group's Aim: Spying for Intelligence Instead of Forced Shutdowns

(Newser) - Anonymous is making good on its threats to launch a "cyber war" on ISIS , hacking into the group's sites and accounts and warning people about possible attacks . But there's a smaller group that says Anonymous is going about it the wrong way—and claims that its own... More »

China: This Woman Is an American Spy

Husband says Phan Phan-Gillis has been in custody for 6 months

(Newser) - The husband of a US businesswoman accused of spying in China says she was secretly held in the country for six months before authorities pressed charges on Sunday. Jeff Gillis says Phan Phan-Gillis, who goes by Sandy, was one of five Houston officials and businesspeople taking part in a trade... More »

China, Russia Comparing Hacks to Flush Out US Spies

Foreign governments can use compromised info to blackmail US intelligence agents

(Newser) - The "high-level snooping" foreign spy agencies have been carrying out on US computer networks isn't simply a matter of trolling for state secrets. It's also a way to expose US spies—as well as contractors who provide tech support—who can then be blackmailed and even recruited,... More »

'Soviet Spy' Ethel Rosenberg May Have Been Innocent

Ethel Rosenberg's brother defended her a year before her conviction

(Newser) - The newly released 1950 grand jury testimony of David Greenglass , who helped cement the executions of his brother-in-law and sister Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, offers new evidence that Ethel was innocent in the most intense spying case of the Cold War. Both Rosenbergs were convicted of conspiring to steal atomic... More »

Feds Make Baltimore Cops Keep Spying Secret: Report

Data collected from Hailstorm device kept on the down-low, detective testifies

(Newser) - Baltimore police are under orders from the US government to withhold information about secretive cellphone surveillance technology from the public and even the courts, and are encouraged to seek dismissal of cases instead of divulging details about the program, according to a confidential document obtained by the AP. The agreement... More »

Scientology Leader Paid PIs to Spy on Own Dad: Police

David Miscavige also reportedly told PI to let his dad die during a health scare

(Newser) - On the heels of HBO's explosive Going Clear documentary , police records acquired by the Los Angeles Times reveal another bombshell about Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige: He allegedly had his own dad tailed by private investigators for a year and a half because he feared Ronald Miscavige Sr.... More »

Report: US Spies Caught Israel Spying on US-Iran Talks

US officials angered when details were shared with Congress: 'WSJ'

(Newser) - Israel spied on confidential talks last year between Iran and the US on Tehran's nuclear program, then used the information gathered to campaign against a deal, White House officials say. The ruse was discovered when US intel agencies spying on Israel intercepted messages with details on the closed-door talks.... More »

Scientist Behind 'Feats of Espionage' Dead at 90

Navy's John Craven 'turned submarines into spy machines'

(Newser) - The name might not be of the household variety, but John Craven made his mark in Cold War espionage for the US military. In his obituary, the New York Times explains that the Navy scientist "turned submarines into spy machines" and was responsible for "some of the nation'... More »

Lying Brother in Rosenberg Spy Case Dead at 92

David Greenglass testified, falsely, he saw sister Ethel transcribing research data

(Newser) - David Greenglass, who served 10 years in prison for his role in the most explosive atomic spying case of the Cold War and gave testimony that sent his brother-in-law and sister, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, to the electric chair in 1953, has died at 92. Greenglass—who admitted decades later... More »

Hackers Exploited Windows Flaw to Spy

Signs point to Russian cyberespionage—but why the 'Dune' references?

(Newser) - Microsoft is releasing a patch today to fix a vulnerability in its Windows OS—but not before a cyberespionage campaign against Ukrainian government employees and an American expert on Russia took place. According to the iSight cyberintelligence firm, which discovered the bug last month, hackers sent malicious PowerPoints to users... More »

The Most Amazing Artifacts From the CIA's Museum

Closed-off collection includes secret cufflinks, dead rat

(Newser) - One of the country's most fascinating museums is just a few miles outside Washington, DC—but most of us will never get access to it. The CIA's museum is inside the agency's Langley headquarters, and it's got some 26,000 items related to the intelligence organization'... More »

New Zealand Was Spying on Citizens, Lying About It

PM's claims to contrary 'false,' says Edward Snowden with election days away

(Newser) - Edward Snowden's latest revelations target New Zealand: The country's leaders repeatedly told the public that they weren't working on a domestic spying program, the whistleblower says, when in fact they were doing just that. "The Prime Minister’s claim to the public, that ‘there is... More »

Mystery 'Interceptors' Capture Our Calls: Experts

And they don't appear to be NSA installations

(Newser) - Security experts have been spotting so-called "fake cellphone towers" of unknown origin that could be spying on us. The "interceptors," as they're called, trick our phones into thinking they're regular cell towers; then, according to VentureBeat , they can listen to our calls or pave the... More »

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