zundel

Sunday 50

Selling digital snake oil to spooks

Filed under: Computers, Politics, Security — zundel @ am

Given that:

A Pentagon study in January found that it had paid $285 billion in three years to more than 120 contractors accused of fraud or wrongdoing.

this $20 million scam is small change.

Hiding Details of Dubious Deal, U.S. Invokes National Security

The software […] prompted an international false alarm that led President George W. Bush to order airliners to turn around over the Atlantic Ocean in 2003.

In December 2003, Mr. Montgomery reported alarming news: hidden in the crawl bars broadcast by Al Jazeera, someone had planted information about specific American-bound flights from Britain, France and Mexico that were hijacking targets.

C.I.A. officials rushed the information to Mr. Bush, who ordered those flights to be turned around or grounded before they could enter American airspace.

“The intelligence people were telling us this was real and credible, and we had to do something to act on it,” recalled Asa Hutchinson, who oversaw federal aviation safety at the time. Senior administration officials even talked about shooting down planes identified as targets because they feared that supposed hijackers would use the planes to attack the United States [….].

But a very consequential scam.

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