Military, Security & Surveillance

Halliburton, the oil field contractor, said second-quarter net income more than doubled on a gain from selling its government services and construction subsidiary, KBR.
Iraqi commandos are being training by USIS, a Virginia-based company that was once owned by the Carlyle Group. One of multiple "security" forces being created with $20 billion in U.S. funds, these Emergency Response Units may be stoking civil unrest as they accompany U.S. troops on raids.
U.S. defence contractors are riding high these days, buoyed by rising Pentagon spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the high cost of homeland security in the U.S.-declared war on terror. The fiscal 2006 defence budget is set to climb to 441 billion dollars, an increase of 21 billion dollars over 2005. It envisions an additional 50 billion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The paparazzi hide in bushes and use telephoto lenses to snap pictures of celebrities. The "cyberazzi" parachute into web browsers and sneak up behind mobile phones to spy on ordinary people. Nine such data mining companies must report what personal information they gather for sale by next week.
U.S. military has paid $548 million over the past three years to two British security firms that protect the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on reconstruction projects, more than $200 million over the original budget, according to previously undisclosed data that show how the cost of private security in Iraq has mushroomed.
Efforts by defense contractor KBR to repair hurricane-damaged Navy facilities were deemed shoddy and substandard, and one technical adviser alleged that the federal government "certainly paid twice" for many KBR projects because of "design and workmanship deficiencies," the Pentagon's inspector general reported in an audit released yesterday.