Tag Archive: PRISM


FBI Not Happy With Apple & Google’s Encryption Policy

 

 

 

 

” Users might have praised the technology companies for efforts to encrypt their latest devices that would prevent law enforcement agencies’ hands on users’ private data, but the FBI is not at all happy with Apple and Google right now.
 
  The Federal Bureau of Investigation director, James Comey, said Thursday he was “very concerned” over Apple and Google using stronger or full encryption in their Smartphones and Tablets that makes it impossible for law enforcement to collar criminals.
  According to Comey, the Silicon Valley tech giants are “marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law.”

There will come a day – well it comes every day in this business – when it will matter a great, great deal to the lives of people of all kinds that we be able to with judicial authorization gain access to a kidnapper’s or a terrorist or a criminal’s device,” Comey told reporters.

I just want to make sure we have a good conversation in this country before that day comes. I’d hate to have people look at me and say, ‘Well how come you can’t save this kid,’ ‘How come you can’t do this thing.’” “

Hacker News

U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

 

 

 

 

 

” The U.S. government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day in 2008 if it failed to comply with a broad demand to hand over user communications — a request the company believed was unconstitutional — according to court documents unsealed Thursday that illuminate how federal officials forced American tech companies to participate in the National Security Agency’s controversial PRISM program.

  The documents, roughly 1,500 pages worth, outline a secret and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle by Yahoo to resist the government’s demands. The company’s loss required Yahoo to become one of the first to begin providing information to PRISM, a program that gave the NSA extensive access to records of online com­munications by users of Yahoo and other U.S.-based technology firms.”

 

This is the power of Leviathan … we’ve been warned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report: Ordinary Americans Caught Up In Data Sweep

 

 

 

 

 

” When the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted the online accounts of legally targeted foreigners over a four-year period it also collected the conversations of nine times as many ordinary Internet users, both Americans and non-Americans, according to a probe by The Washington Post.

  Nearly half of those surveillance files contained names, email addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents, the Post reported in a story posted on its website Saturday night. While the federal agency tried to protect their privacy by masking more than 65,000 such references to individuals, the newspaper said it found nearly 900 additional email addresses that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or residents.”

The Snowden revelations continue to reveal the extent of State spying during the Age Of Obama …

” The material reviewed by the Post included roughly 160,000 intercepted e-mail and instant-message conversations, some of them hundreds of pages long, and 7,900 documents taken from more than 11,000 online accounts. It spanned President Barack Obama’s first term, 2009 to 2012, and was provided to the Post by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden.

  The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted were catalogued and recorded, the Post reported. The newspaper described that material as telling “stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes.” The material collected included more than 5,000 private photos, the paper said.”

AP News

German Television Does First Edward Snowden Interview

 

German TV Interviews Edward Snowden

 

 

 

 

” German Television Channel NDR does an exclusive interview with Edward Snowden.
Uploaded on LiveLeak because German Television thinks the rest of the world isn’t interested in Edward Snowden.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Is The Year That Proved Your ‘Paranoid’ Friend Right

 

 

” Most people involved in the tech scene have at least one friend who has been warning everyone they know about protecting their digital trail for years — and have watched that friend get accused of being being a tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorist. But 2013 is the year that proved your “paranoid” friend right.

  It’s now a matter of public record that the NSA collects and stores the calling records of domestic phone calls, tracks the location of millions of mobile devices worldwide,infiltrates the data links between the data centers of tech companies used by millions of Americans, piggybacks onto commercial tracking mechanisms, collected potentially sensitive online metadata for years and actively worked to undermine the privacy and security measures that underpin the Internet. And considering the purported size of the Snowden cache, that could be the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.”

 

Source: Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

SNOWDEN: NSA’S INDISCRIMINATE SPYING ‘COLLAPSING’

 

 

 

” National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden wrote in a lengthy “open letter to the people of Brazil” that he’s been inspired by the global debate ignited by his release of thousands of National Security Agency documents, and that the NSA’s culture of indiscriminate global espionage “is collapsing.”

  In the letter, obtained on Tuesday by The Associated Press, Snowden commended the Brazilian government for its strong stand against U.S. spying.

  He said he’d be willing to help the South American nation investigate NSA spying on its soil, but could not fully participate in doing so without being granted political asylum, because the U.S. “government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eight Tech Giants Call For Reform To Surveillance Law

 

” Today, there are full-page advertisements running in the New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, Roll Call, and The Hill. They all have the same message: big tech companies are calling on Congress to rein in the mass surveillance. You can read the full message on the newly-launched Reform Government Surveillance site.

  This is a victory for users—with the companies taking a giant step forward in supporting their customers’ rights. The five basic principles they announced today include:

  1. Limiting Governments’ Authority to Collect Users’ Information
  2. Oversight and Accountability
  3. Transparency About Government Demands
  4. Respecting the Free Flow of Information
  5. Avoiding Conflicts Among Governments

  While these are all valuable, the first one particularly heartened us: “Governments should limit surveillance to specific, known users for lawful purposes, and should not undertake bulk data collection of Internet communications.” With these principles, the companies are joining digital citizens worldwide in demanding a stop to the unrestrained, mass surveillance of our digital lives.”

 

 

    It’s about time . Don’t forget that these companies were very quick to roll over and give the government everything that it demanded as far as access to our personal data and while we commend them for their newfound love of privacy one can only wonder if this letter would have ever come about without the revelations from Edward Snowden being made public . For now color us cautiously optimistic regarding these corporations recently acquired respect for the fourth amendment . 

   It is also worth noting that there are no cell phone carriers/providers among the companies clamoring for renewed privacy laws and therein lies a major drawback to the entire effort to re-establish our right to protection from illegal search and seizure .

 

” But notably absent from the coalition are telecom companies, like Verizon and AT&T. These companies have long been considered the weak link when it comes to government access request. AT&T just announced that it would not respond to shareholder requests to be transparent about its relationship with the NSA.”

 

Just sayin’ …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NSA Still Not Sure What Snowden Took, But May Try To Pre-empt

Future Leaks

 

 

 

” We’ve been among those who have suggested that the best way for the NSA to deal with the upcoming NSA leaks is to just stop lying and come clean about what they’re doing. It’s such a crazy suggestion that even former NSA boss Bobby Ray Inman has suggested it as well. It looks like the NSA is considering revealing something, but it’s likely to be pretty limited:

With respect to other information held by Snowden and his allies but not yet publicized, the NSA is now considering a proactive release of some of the less sensitive material, to better manage the debate over its surveillance program.

“We’re working on how do we do that,” says Richard Ledgett, the NSA official in charge of the agency’s response to the Snowden disclosures.”

    The NSA knows who Grandma Smith invited to her bridge game last week but six months later they have no idea how many documents Edward Snowden took with him . That’s confidence inspiring . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NSA And The State Dept. Go To War … With Each Other

 

 

 

 

 

” New revelations that the U.S. has been eavesdropping on world leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel aren’t simply straining Washington’s relationship with Berlin. They’re also sparking an increasingly public fight between the State Department and the NSA, with the nation’s spies and the nation’s diplomats trading shots about who’s responsible for the mess.

“This is a pretty serious embarrassment for the U.S., and as top officials try to protect their agencies and their reputations, they are not sticking with their talking points,” a former senior U.S. official told The Cable.

Secretary of State John Kerry touched off the furor when he said some of the NSA’s overseas surveillance efforts — which also included tapping into tens of millions of calls in France and Spain — had been carried out without the Obama administration’s knowledge or explicit approval. The remarks highlighted what appears to the White House’s emerging strategy for dealing with widespread public fury over the programs: blame it on the NSA.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US National Security Agency ‘Spied On French Diplomats’

 

 

 

 

” The US National Security Agency has spied on French diplomats in Washington and at the UN, according to the latest claims in Le Monde newspaper.

NSA internal memos obtained by Le Monde detailed the use of a sophisticated surveillance programme, known as Genie.

US spies allegedly hacked foreign networks, introducing the spyware into the software, routers and firewalls of millions of machines.

It comes a day after claims the NSA tapped millions of phones in France.

The details in the latest Le Monde article are based on leaks from ex-intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, through Glen Greenwald, the outgoing Guardian journalist, who is feeding the material from Brazil, says the BBC’s Christian Fraser in Paris.”

 

 

    Obama’s list of “Smart Diplomacyvictims continues to grow . Now France joins the ranks of Mexico , Germany and Brazil

 

 

 

 

 

 

… Is This Why He Left The Guardian?

 

 

 

” Just yesterday, I was taken aback by an article in Time magazine in which Glenn Greenwald was quoted as saying:

The archives are so complex and so deep and so shocking, that I think the most shocking and significant stories are the ones we are still working on, and have yet to publish.

The above statement was expressed during a speech by Greenwald at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This takes on an entirely new meaning now that we know Mr. Greenwald has decided to leave The Guardian.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brazil To Host Global Summit To Draw Up New Governance Model

 

 

 

 

” Here’s a hugely important story that brings together three major threads. First, the continuing wrangling over the form that Internet governance should take. Second, the fact that NSA’s massive surveillance operations around the world have included economic espionage. And third, Brazil’s increasingly angry reaction to that spying. As a post from the Internet Governance Project explains:

the Directors of all the major Internet organizations — ICANN, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board, the World Wide Web Consortium, the Internet Society, all five of the regional Internet address registries — turned their back on the US government. With striking unanimity, the organizations that actually develop and administer Internet standards and resources initiated a break with 3 decades of U.S. dominance of Internet governance.

Those directors have issued what they call the “Montevideo Statement on the Future of Internet Cooperation,” which includes the following:

They called for accelerating the globalization of and functions, towards an environment in which all stakeholders, including all governments, participate on an equal footing.

That’s a fairly clear call for the US to relinquish its dominant role. Another section hints at why this is happening now:

They expressed strong concern over the undermining of the trust and confidence of Internet users globally due to recent revelations of pervasive monitoring and surveillance.”

Growing Backlash To Government Surveillance

 

 

 

 

” From Silicon Valley to the South Pacific, counterattacks to revelations of widespread National Security Agency surveillance are taking shape, from a surge of new encrypted email programs to technology that sprinkles the Internet with red flag terms to confuse would-be snoops.”

 

 

 

 

” Policy makers, privacy advocates and political leaders around the world have been outraged at the near weekly disclosures from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden that expose sweeping U.S. government surveillance programs.”

 

 

 

 

” “Until this summer, people didn’t know anything about the NSA,” said Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University co-director Amy Zegart. “Their own secrecy has come back to bite them.”

Activists are fighting back with high-tech civil disobedience, entrepreneurs want to cash in on privacy concerns, Internet users want to keep snoops out of their computers and lawmakers want to establish stricter parameters.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NSA Spying: 4th Amendment Protection

 

 

4th Amendment Protection

 

 

 

” This resource and action page is not intended to explain WHY the NSA spying program is wrong. It assumes you’re already on board with that fact. This page exists to provide you the tools needed to begin resisting it.

Passage of the 4th Amendment Protection Act in your state, county, city and town will create obstacles to implementation that will help thwart the unconstitutional spying efforts of the federal government. State laws, local resolutions, and even campus legislation are all important pieces of the puzzle to resist and nullify NSA spying. (model legislation here).

The 4th Amendment Protection Act is an important first step to stopping NSA spying. You can be sure that this one bill (and no single piece of legislation) will stop the NSA on its own. Passage of this legislation will be a big piece of the puzzle to the overall resistance. Once your state completes this first step, there are more…aggressive…measures that will be implemented to push back.

Scroll down below the map to learn more. 

While there is no silver bullet to stop the NSA, you have an option.  Wait for the federal government to give up this power, or resist it in any way possible.

These steps are just the first step of what will likely be a multi-year campaign to resist, refuse to comply, and nullify the unconstitutional NSA programs.

Once these first steps are moving forward in a number of states, the next – more aggressive – levels of resistance can take place successfully.

In the end, Rosa Parks already proved it.  Saying “No!” can change the world. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journalists Join Forces To Reveal NSA’s Role In The U.S. Assassination Program

 

 

” Under ongoing scrutiny from the public, the National Security Agency took another hit on Saturday when two Brazilian journalists joined forces to expose, what they refer to as, a “U.S. assassination program.” These men, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times best seller “Dirty Wars” and Glenn Greenwald, the first journalist to report on the Edward Snowden leaks, suggest that they have a found a link between the NSA and targeted killings. “The connections between war and surveillance are clear.

“I don’t want to give too much away but Glenn and I are working on a project right now that has at its center how the National Security Agency plays a significant, central role in the U.S. assassination program (Star Tribune),” said Scahill at the debut of the film “Dirty Wars,” a documentary tracing Scahill’s journey around the world speaking to families of U.S. air strike victims.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NSA Internet Spying Sparks Race to Create Offshore Havens for Data Privacy

 


 

 

” Three of Germany’s largest email providers, including partly state-owned Deutsche Telekom AG, teamed up to offer a new service, Email Made in Germany. The companies promise that by encrypting email through German servers and hewing to the country’s strict privacy laws, U.S. authorities won’t easily be able to pry inside. More than a hundred thousand Germans have flocked to the service since it was rolled out in August.”

Government Leaks Have Proven More Harmful Than Snowden Revelations

 

 

” As the nation’s spy agencies assess the fallout from disclosures about their surveillance programs, some government analysts and senior officials have made a startling finding: the impact of a leaked terrorist plot by Al Qaeda in August has caused more immediate damage to American counterterrorism efforts than the thousands of classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor.

Since news reports in early August revealed that the United States intercepted messages between Ayman al-Zawahri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as the head of Al Qaeda, and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the head of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, discussing an imminent terrorist attack, analysts have detected a sharp drop in the terrorists’ use of a major communications channel that the authorities were monitoring. Since August, senior American officials have been scrambling to find new ways to surveil the electronic messages and conversations of Al Qaeda’s leaders and operatives.

“The switches weren’t turned off, but there has been a real decrease in quality” of communications, said one United States official, who like others quoted spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence programs.”

Illustration by Erin Bonsteel

Join EFF & The Stopwatching.us Coalition In DC On October 26th

 

 

 

 

” This summer, some of our worst fears and suspicions about the NSA have been confirmed. We now have evidence that the NSA is actively undermining the basic security of the Internet. It iscollecting millions and millions of phone records of individuals not suspected of any crime. It issurveilling journalists.

The NSA’s overreaching surveillance is creating a climate of fear and chilling free speech. Its addiction to secrecy makes real accountability impossible

But there’s a movement forming to change all of this. And we’re about to take the next step.

On the weekend of October 26 — the 12th anniversary of the signing of the USA PATRIOT Act — thousands of people from across the political spectrum will unite in Washington, D.C. to take a stand against unconstitutional surveillance. Please join EFF in D.C. for a day of grassroots training and citizen lobbying on October 25th and a historic rally and petition delivery on October 26th.”

 

Join us in Washington.

— RSVP on the event page (privacy policy here): https://rally.stopwatching.us
— RSVP for the lobby day here: https://rally.stopwatching.us/lobbyday.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OFFICIAL SIDESTEPS QUERIES ON CELLPHONE LOCATIONS

 

 

” The head of the National Security Agency sidestepped questions Thursday from a senator about whether the NSA has ever used Americans cellphone signals to collect information on their whereabouts that would allow tracking of the movements of individual callers.

Asked twice by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., if NSA had ever collected or made plans to collect such data, NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander answered both times by reading from a letter provided to senators who had asked the same question last summer. He also cited a classified version of the letter that was sent to senators and said, “What I don’t want to do … is put out in an unclassified forum anything that’s classified.”

Wyden promised to keep asking.

“I believe this is something the American people have a right to know, whether NSA has ever collected or made plans to collect cell site information,” Wyden said.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian High Commission Uses Old Technology For Secret Documents After Edward Snowden’s NSA Revelations

 

 

” The Indian diplomatic mission in London has turned to typewriters for writing sensitive documents to avoid snooping by security agencies, after it emerged that New Delhi’s diplomatic missions in New York and Washington were bugged by the National Security Agency (NSA). 

The High Commission of India in the UK has also urged Indian diplomatic staff to be extra careful in dealing with top-secret documents, while officials have been warned about potential bugs inside the buildings.

The new policy comes days after it was revealed – through Edward Snowden’s disclosures – that the NSA planted high-tech bugs to spy on Indian diplomats in Washington and at the UN headquarters.

India is not the first country to use typewriters to battle security leaks. The Kremlin’s communications watchdog, the Federal Protection Service (FSO), has ordered typewriters to produce sensitive documents.

It is unclear whether Britain’s eavesdropping agency, GCHQ, allegedly involved in several other snooping activities along with the NSA, played any part in spying on Indian interests.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brazil To Obama: We’re Not Coming To Dinner

 

” Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has scrapped a scheduled state visit to the White House amid Brazilian outrage over news that the U.S. spied on her and a Brazilian oil company.

The cancellation of the Oct. 23 visit is the first public diplomatic fallout prompted by the revelations of National Security Agency spying and represents a serious rift between the two economic powerhouses and trading partners.

Obama has sought repeatedly to allay Brazil’s concerns, meeting privately with Rousseff at an economic summit in St. Petersburg, and dispatching several top members of his administration to speak to the Brazilians. Obama spoke with Rousseff by phone Monday, and White House spokesman Jay Carney said they agreed to postpone the state visit – which would have been the first of Obama’s second term.

Carney said the two presidents believed the visit “should not be overshadowed by a single bilateral issue, no matter how important or challenging the issue may be.”

But the Brazilian government said Tuesday the issue has yet to be resolved to its satisfaction.

“The illegal practice of intercepting communications and data of citizens, businesses and members of the Brazilian government constitute(s) a serious act which threatens national sovereignty and individual rights, and which is incompatible with democratic coexistence between friendly countries,” it said in a statement.”

 

 

 Fool Me Once Shame On You, Fool Twice Shame On Me