Reforming Surveillance – Maybe
* The President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies released a report [PDF] making recommendations to rebalance security concerns with privacy and civil liberties, though they point out that some core principles should not be up for negotiation. They’d like communication metadata storage not to be done by the government but rather to remain private until official access to it is justified. Interestingly, they recommend privacy protections to be applied to non-US citizens too. But their advice not to have a single individual head both the NSA and USCYBERCOM had already been rejected before their report had even been made public.
Fat Leonard Investigation
* John Bertrand Beliveau, an agent from the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service, pleaded guilty to leaking confidential documents to Leonard Francis, the CEO of a firm charged with bribery to obtain Navy contracts for husbanding services in Asia.
Iskanders in Kaliningrad: Studied Ambiguity
* Russian President Putin denies that SS-26 Stone missiles have yet been deployed in Kaliningrad, despite his defense ministry having confirmed just days ago a German press report of the missiles’ presence in the exclave.
India’s Year in Review
* The Indian Ministry of Defence published a recap of their achievements for 2013. The document is sometimes self-congratulatory, but has the decency to commemorate the lost sailors on INS Sindhurakshak and to acknowledge some program delays.
Expect More International Competition
* A report [PDF, in French] by IRSEM, the research arm of France’s war college – aptly concludes that competition for international tenders is getting much more intense as American prime contractors have set explicit goals to grow their exports. The problem is that the sustainment of Europe’s defense industrial base relies in part on future exports outside of the continent.
NATO vs. EU
* UK Prime Minister David Cameron is determined to thwart the European Union’s defense efforts, such as they are, at today’s European council meeting. France traditionally wants more EU involvement in security matters while Germany is ambivalent at best.
* NATO explains its “Smart Defence” spiel, and how more business may be channeled in the future through the alliance, in the video below: