INTEL TODAY DIARY — May 27 2017

How Facebook’s tentacles reach further than you think — Jared Kushner says he will cooperate with Russia inquiry — Spanish police officer and thrillers writer is being investigated over allegations that he is damaging the force’s reputation — Did North Korean leader’s brother meet with a US spy before he was assassinated?

Facebook’s tentacles reach further than you think — BBC

Facebook’s collection of data makes it one of the most influential organisations in the world. Share Lab wanted to look “under the bonnet” at the tech giant’s algorithms and connections to better understand the social structure and power relations within the company.

A couple of years ago, Vladan Joler and his brainy friends in Belgrade began investigating the inner workings of one of the world’s most powerful corporations.

The team, which includes experts in cyber-forensic analysis and data visualisation, had already looked into what he calls “different forms of invisible infrastructures” behind Serbia’s internet service providers.

But Mr Joler and his friends, now working under a project called Share Lab, had their sights set on a bigger target.

“If Facebook were a country, it would be bigger than China,” says Mr Joler, whose day job is as a professor at Serbia’s Novi Sad University.

 He reels off the familiar, but still staggering, numbers: the barely teenage Silicon Valley firm stores some 300 petabytes of data, boasts almost two billion users, and raked in almost $28bn (£22bn) in revenues in 2016 alone.

Jared Kushner says he will cooperate with Russia inquiry after reports he is under scrutiny — Guardian

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said he would cooperate with any investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia following reports that he is under FBI scrutiny.

Multiple news outlets reported on Thursday that investigators were focused on a series of meetings that Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, held with Russian officials last year as part of the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“Mr Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings,” attorney Jamie Gorelick said in a statement on Thursday. “He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry.”

The Washington Post first reported last week that investigators had identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, a major development following the news that former FBI director Robert Mueller would be acting as a special counsel to investigate Trump’s connections to Russia.

Press secretary Sean Spicer did not deny the news reports at the time, and on Thursday, the Washington Post and NBC News reported that Kushner was a focus of the FBI’s case, citing anonymous sources familiar with the investigation. The Guardian could not independently confirm the reports.

The naming of Kushner in connection with the FBI’s investigation is significant, though the scope of the inquiry into the husband of the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, is unclear. Kushner has not been accused of wrongdoing and is not the central focus of the investigation, the Post said.

Novel-writing officer accused of damaging Spanish police’s reputation — Guardian

A Spanish police officer who has written 10 thrillers is being investigated over allegations that he is damaging the force’s reputation and using his day job to promote his books.

Esteban Navarro, an officer in Huesca in the north-eastern region of Aragón, recently published a novel about a gang of corrupt police officers set in his own station.

According to its blurb, the book – Una Historia de Policías (A Police Story) – is “a debate about the origin of evil, but also a reflection on how friendship and camaraderie can drag us to the darkest side of dishonour”.

Since the book was published in March, Navarro has been told that anonymous complaints have been made against him by his colleagues, apparently because of his appearances on social media rather than because of his new book.

“I’ve written 10 novels over 23 years and no one has ever said anything,” he told the Guardian. “But now lots of people have asked if it has to do with the new book.

“I don’t want to draw any connections, but it’s a bit of a coincidence.”

Did North Korean leader’s brother meet with a US spy before he was assassinated? — Intel News

The exiled half-brother of North Korea’s leader, who was assassinated in Malaysia in February, is thought to have met with a man believed to be an American intelligence officer shortly before he was killed, according to reports.

Kim Jong-nam the grandson of North Korea’s founder Kim Il-Sung, died after two women approached him at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and splashed his face with liquid poison on February 13 of this year.

Kim was about to board a flight to Macau, where he had been living in self-exile with his family since 2007.

His relations with his brother, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, and the regime in Pyongyang, were adversarial, and some suggest that he had survived at least one assassination attempt in the past.

According to Malaysian investigators, who have been probing Kim’s murder, the estranged half-brother of the North Korean dictator arrived in Kuala Lumpur from Macau on February 6, a week before he was killed there.

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INTEL TODAY DIARY — May 27 2017

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