28 May 15. Airbus develops new multirole jammer for military platforms. Airbus Defence and Space has developed a new system that can protect military vehicles against radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIEDs) threats. Dubbed Multirole Jammer, the system combines the highest efficiency in countering RCIEDs with comprehensive monitoring of the signal spectrum, and tactical communication jamming. The system, which is based on latest software-defined radio technologies, is able to analyse the signal spectrum around a vehicle, and jam the radio signals intended to ignite roadside bombs in a target-efficient manner.
Airbus Defence and Space Electronics business line head Thomas Müller said, “Lessons learnt from deployments, such as Afghanistan, have made more versatile and compact devices to monitor the electromagnetic spectrum indispensable. Our longstanding experience in electronic warfare enables us to translate latest technologies into solutions, which offer reliable protection to the forces on the ground.”
Leveraging the company’s ultra-fast SMART Responsive Jamming Technology, the jammer can be used for operational signal intelligence in an extended role, thereby contributing to the generation of a comprehensive picture of the signal situation. The task could earlier be accomplished only by separate systems that are limited in number and much more difficult to field. Additionally, the system enables takeover of classic tactical jamming tasks, while supporting the developing counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems. Driven by new digital receiver and signal processing technologies, the system achieves reaction times of well below a millisecond. Unlike legacy systems, the jamming power in the Multirole Jammer is focused on the specific frequency of a detonation signal, rather than being distributed over the whole frequency range. According to the company, the SMART Responsive Jamming Technology is already operational in its Vehicle Protection Jammer. (Source: army-technology.com)
22 May 15. UK Rewrites Hacking Laws to Give GCHQ Immunity. The UK government has quietly passed new legislation that exempts GCHQ, police, and other intelligence officers from prosecution for hacking into computers and mobile phones. While major or controversial legislative changes usually go through normal parliamentary process (i.e. democratic debate) before being passed into law, in this case an amendment to the Computer Misuse Act was snuck in under the radar as secondary legislation. According to Privacy International, “It appears no regulators, commissioners responsible for overseeing the intelligence agencies, the Information Commissioner’s Office, industry, NGOs or the public were notified or consulted about the proposed legislative changes… There was no public debate.”
Privacy International also suggests that the change to the law was in direct response to a complaint that it filed last year. In May 2014, Privacy International and seven communications providers filed a complaint with the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), asserting that GCHQ’s hacking activities were unlawful under the Computer Misuse Act.
On June 6, just a few weeks after the complaint was filed, the UK government introduced the new legislation via the Serious Crime Bill that would allow GCHQ, intelligence officers, and the police to hack without criminal liability. The bill passed into law on March 3 this year, and became effective on May 3. Privacy International says there was no public debate before the law was enacted, with only a rather one-sided set of stakeholders being consulted (Ministry of Justice, Crown Prosecution Service, Scotland Office, Northern Ireland Office, GCHQ, police, and National Crime Agency).
According to Privacy International’s legal experts, the amended Computer Misuse Act “grants UK law enforcement new leeway to potentially conduct cyber attacks within the UK.” Following Snowden’s leaks throughout 2013 and 2014, a c