Military, Security & Surveillance

A consortium of eight companies said on Thursday that it would spend about $100 million to prepare applications to build two nuclear reactors, in Mississippi and Alabama, a step that seems to move the industry closer to its first new reactor order since the 1970's.
President Obama will almost certainly touch down in Baghdad and Kabul in Air Force One sometime in the coming year to meet his counterparts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he will just as certainly pay a visit to a U.S. military base or two. Should he stay to eat with the troops, he will no less certainly choose from a menu prepared by migrant Asian workers under contract to Houston-based KBR, the former subsidiary of Halliburton.
Two Guantanamo detainees have left captivity, the Defense Department says. One is bound for the Atlantic island Cape Verde, but the other is headed for Algeria, where he fears he'll be tortured or killed.
A Pakistani court has set a June 5 court date to hear a lawsuit from 'Bytes for All' - a digital rights group - for the alleged use of FinFisher spy software by the Pakistani government. The software is manufactured by Gamma International, an Anglo-German company.
In the nation's "new kind of war" on terrorism, defense spending is likely to focus as much on information and surveillance as bombs and bullets.
Houston's Halliburton Co. earned nearly $100 million from its controversial no-bid contract to repair Iraq's oilfields and import fuel into that violence-torn country, Pentagon records show.
This weekend marks the fifth anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan. Fariba Nawa, an Afghan-American who returned to her native country to examine the progress of reconstruction, uncovers some examples of where the money has (and hasn't) gone, how the system of international aid works (and doesn't), and what it is really like in the villages and cities where outsiders are rebuilding the war-torn countryside. Click here to download the complete report.An HTML text version of the report is also available. Listen, watch or read an interview with Fariba Nawa on Democracy Now! about reconstruction, security, and life in Afghanistan five years after the invasion.
On the presidential campaign trail, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani often promotes the installation of electronic monitoring devices at the border to stem illegal immigration, without mentioning that until a few months ago, he was partner in a company trying to market such technology.
Glimmerglass, a northern California company that sells optical fiber technology, offers government agencies a software product called "CyberSweep" to intercept signals on undersea cables. The company says their technology can analyze Gmail and Yahoo! Mail as well as social media like Facebook and Twitter to discover "actionable intelligence."
Five years after the fall of the Taliban, a joint report by the Pentagon and the State Department has found that the American-trained police force in Afghanistan is largely incapable of carrying out routine law enforcement work, and that managers of the $1.1 billion training program cannot say how many officers are actually on duty or where thousands of trucks and other equipment issued to police units have gone.