A semi-secret government contractor that calls itself Project Vigilant surfaced at the Defcon security conference Sunday with a series of revelations: that it monitors the traffic of 12 regional Internet service providers, hands much of that information to federal agencies, and encouraged one of its “volunteers”, researcher Adrian Lamo, to inform the federal government about the alleged source of a controversial video of civilian deaths in Iraq leaked to whistle-blower site Wikileaks in April.
Chet Uber, the director of Fort Pierce, Fl.-based Project Vigilant, says that he personally asked Lamo to meet with federal authorities to out the source of a video published by Wikileaks showing a U.S. Apache helicopter killing several civilians and two journalists in a suburb of Baghdad, a clip that Wikileaks labelled “Collateral Murder.” Lamo, who Uber said worked as an “Adversary Characterization” analyst for Project Vigilant, had struck up an online friendship with Bradley Manning, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who currently faces charges of releasing the classified video.
In June, Uber said he learned from Lamo’s father that the young researcher had identified Manning as the video’s source, and pressured him to meet with federal agencies to name Manning as Wikileaks’ source. He then arranged a meeting with employees of “three letter” agencies and Lamo, who Uber said had mixed feelings about informing on Manning.
Elite U.S. Cyber Team Courts Hackers to Fight Terror
An elite US cyber team that has stealthily tracked Internet villains for more than a decade pulled back its cloak of secrecy to recruit hackers at a DefCon gathering.
Vigilant was described by its chief Chet Uber as a sort of cyber “A-Team” taking on terrorists, drug cartels, mobsters and other enemies on the Internet.
“We do things the government can’t,” Uber said on Sunday. “This was never supposed to have been a public thing.”
This article was posted: Monday, August 2, 2010 at 3:46 am