14 Jun 16. Canada’s CC-130J Hercules aircraft to undergo electronic warfare testing in US. The Royal Canadian Air Force’s CC-130J Hercules tactical airlift aircraft is set to undergo electronic warfare testing at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California, US. Canada aims to replace its CC-130H aircraft fleet with the J model. Testing on the aircraft will be carried out at the Benefield Anechoic Facility (BAF), an anechoic chamber located at the AFB, to determine the electromagnetic compatibility of the CC-130J’s systems. Canada Department of National Defense radar warfare engineer Emil Poliakov said: “The chamber allows us to execute multiple test objectives in a controlled-repeatable manner and collect data to evaluate the radar warning receiver’s technical performance and effectiveness.”
The electronic warfare test data will be shared with partner nations as part of an agreement, called the multinational test and evaluation programme, signed last year between the US, Canada, UK and Australia.
Poliakov further added: “This agreement provides an unprecedented access to the partnering nations’ EW trials and data.
“The CC-130J trial at the BAF is the first time the agreement has been used since it was officially signed in 2015. We invited representatives from the UK and Australia to witness this trial and will share all of the results with our allies.”
A team of engineers, operators and defence scientists conducted several tests to examine the ALR-56M radar warning receiver, as well as its integration with the rest of the defensive electronic warfare suite and aircraft mission computer. The CC-130J brought to Edwards AFB is from 8 Wing located at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario. Canada purchased 17 CC-130Js in total, with the last delivered in 2012 for tactical airlift of troops and supplies. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
13 Jun 16. MI5’s Uncontrolled Bulk Data Collection. The watchdog that monitors interception of emails and phone calls by the intelligence services allowed MI5 to escape regular scrutiny of its bulk collection of communications data, according to newly released confidential correspondence.
A highly revealing exchange of letters from 2004 has been published by Privacy International (PI) before a parliamentary debate on the investigatory powers bill, sometimes called the snooper’s charter.
The campaign group argues that the letters demonstrate the relationship between government agencies and the independent organisation that is supposed to oversee and regulate their activities has been too “cozy”.
The correspondence has been disclosed in the course of legal action between PI and the government at the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT) which is due to be heard in full this year. The IPT deals with complaints about the intelligence services and surveillance by public bodies. GCHQ is alleged to be illegally collecting “bulk personal datasets” from the phone and internet records of ms of people who have no ties to terrorism and are not suspected of any crime.
The letters were sent by Home Office legal advisers, GCHQ and Sir Swinton Thomas, who was the interception of communications commissioner. The organisation is now called the Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office (IOCCO).
In May 2004, a Home Office legal adviser wrote to Thomas backing an MI5 proposal that collecting bulk data from communication service providers for its “database project” be authorised under section 94 of the 1984 Telecommunications Act because, at that stage, there were no human rights implications or breach of privacy concerns. Using that act would not require a notice to be put before parliament because it could be used secretively on the grounds that “disclosure of the direction would be against the interests of national security”.
Thomas wrote back the following month, expressing reservations about such clandestine authorisation. He proposed that it would be better to use the more modern and exacting