ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER SECURITY LEAK: BRUCE KESLER
The current Time magazine features “Hillary’s Little Startup: How the U.S. Is Using Technology to Aid Syria’s Rebels,”about “how Americans helped turn him [pseudonym] into a cyberwarrior.” Once again, the secrets of the United States are being deployed in President Obama’s re-election image making.
[L]ocal dissident leaders picked the former engineer to go abroad for even-more-sophisticated training in computer encryption, circumvention of government firewalls and secure use of mobile phones—courtesy of the U.S. State Department. The training has helped give the rebels the upper hand in one front in the battle against Syria’s President. Even as the Assad regime’s army crushes the opposition on the ground, the dictator has been losing the war online.
In the process, the Obama Administration has tiptoed across an invisible line. Washington has said it will not actively support the Syrian opposition in its bid to oust Assad. Officially, the U.S. says it abides by the U.N. process led by Kofi Annan and does not condone arms sales to opposition groups as long as there are U.N. observers in Syria. Nevertheless, as U.S. officials have revealed to Time, [emphasis added] the Obama Administration has been providing media-technology training and support to Syrian dissidents by way of small nonprofits like the Institute for War & Peace Reporting and Freedom House.
Note, as in so many of the credits that the Obama administration takes unto itself, the program started under President Bush, although Bush is not named in the Time article: “The program actually began four years ago with a different target: China.”
The Time reporter is interviewed by CNN:
CNN: What is the biggest challenge here as part of this program?
NEWTON-SMALL: I think the biggest challenge is certainly when I was talking to people, they were incredibly leery about [details] being kept secret, where the trainings are done being kept secret. And we had to change the names of all the dissidents we spoke with because obviously we don’t want to put them at risk back at home.
And it’s also getting over a stigma and people saying, “Well, because you’re trained by the Americans, you’re an American pawn.” When, in fact, this training just enables them to show what they want to show. We’re not coming to them with any kind of agenda. And America isn’t saying, “We want you to promote American values here.” They’re just saying, “Here are the tools. You guys go and do whatever you want to do with it.”
Some of those “tools” are revealed. The rebel users of those “tools” can now be labeled as American tools by the Syrian government, which undermines the rebel cyberwarriors.
Another screw security, screw those on the front-lines, leak from the Obama re-election administration.
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