Category Archives: Estonia

Five Eyes, Nine Eyes & 14-Eyes Countries and VPNs Important to know when using (or planning to use) a VPN

The content herein is part of an article published in a VPN site where at the end of this short introduction there will be a link to take you to a lot more viewpoints & info. ENJOY.

This article will discuss available VPNs in relation to the 5 Eyes, the 9 Eyes and the 14 Eyes government surveillance alliances.

Encryption is the only way to protect private communications. While there are encrypted messaging systems that can be used for direct correspondence, virtual private networks (VPNs, also based on encryption) are the best tools for hiding internet activity, such as which websites are visited. Again, there are valid reasons to do so: to protect the privacy of religion, sexual orientation and sensitive medical conditions; all of which can be inferred from visited websites.

Background

During the second world war, US and UK intelligence agencies worked closely on code-breaking. After the war, the UK center at Bletchley Park evolved into the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The American service evolved into the National Security Agency (NSA). In 1946, the working relationship between the two countries was formalized in the UKUSA agreement. It worked on signals intelligence (SIGINT); that is, the interception and analysis of adversarial telecommunications.

In order to provide global coverage for communications interception, Australia, New Zealand and Australia joined the UK and the USA – and became known as the Five Eyes.

However, such is the NSA’s global dominance of intelligence gathering, other countries have sought to cooperate in return for specific ‘threat’ information from the NSA. This has led to other SIGINT groupings: the 9 Eyes and the 14 Eyes.

The operation of these intelligence agencies was long kept secret. As global communications have increased – and as perceived threats have grown (first in the Cold War between east and west and more recently in the ‘war on terror’), the 5 Eyes in particular began to secretly use technology to gather everything for later analysis. GCHQ, for example, had a secret project called Mastering the Internet. None of this was publicly known.

In 2013, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked thousands of top secret NSA and GCHQ documents showing, for the first time, the extent to which national governments spy on everybody. It is always done in the name of ‘national security’, and both the relevant agencies and their governments insist on their right to do so.

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Henry Sapiecha

NATO Fights Malware, Bugged Devices at Estonian Cyber Center

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses the media during an EU foreign and defense ministers meeting at the EU Council building in Brussels on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. France has demanded that its European partners provide support for its operations against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq and other security missions in the wake of the Paris attacks. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses the media during an EU foreign and defense ministers meeting at the EU Council building in Brussels on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. France has demanded that its European partners provide support for its operations against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq and other security missions in the wake of the Paris attacks. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses the media during an EU foreign and defense ministers meeting at the EU Council building in Brussels on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. France has demanded that its European partners provide support for its operations against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq and other security missions in the wake of the Paris attacks. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

NATO nations and allies are battling malware in tablets and infected devices this week in the alliance’s largest cyber drill to date aimed at improving members’ data privacy in crisis situations.

Some 400 participants from 33 countries were focused on solving scenarios including attacks on high-ranking officers’ computer equipment during an exercise at a cyber range in Tartu, Estonia’s second-largest city.

“The idea is to replicate dynamics and threats that are real,” said Lt. Col. Christian Braccini, a researcher from the NATO cyber think tank and training center in the capital, Tallinn.

The five-day Cyber Coalition 2015 exercise, which ends Friday, included teams from non-NATO members Austria, Finland and Sweden, with Georgia, Japan and Jordan as observers.

It comes amid a flourish of NATO activity and recent visits by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to the region, where Nordic and Baltic countries have watched Russia’s increasing military presence in the Baltic Sea with increasing trepidation.

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Robert Hoar, head of the NATO drill on behalf of the Allied Command Operations, stressed the scenarios do not include attacking or defending. He says teams were given realistic “story lines” to solve, including cyberattacks on devices.

“The focus of the exercise is not competition, it’s collaboration,” Hoar told reporters.

Participating nations have at least one representative at the high-security cyber exercise range in Tartu, 190 kilometers (120 miles) southeast of Tallinn.

It’s the third time such an event was held in Estonia, one of the most wired and technologically advanced countries in the world. Estonia itself was targeted in 2007 by hackers in one of Europe’s first major organized cyberattacks.

Source: Associated Press

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Henry Sapiecha