EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

10.16.13

NSA Roundup: New Evidence of Crimes, Greenwald Moves Towards Independence, and More

Posted in Action at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Newest stories about the NSA and its allies

THE NSA saga is far from over. There are new revelations all the time and the corporate press is trying to distract us by speaking about China [1] and Russia [2]. Don’t take this hypocritical bait.

As an MI5 whistleblower puts it, “US/UK spy chiefs cover up NSA surveillance scandal” [3] while Glenn Greenwald, a US citizen living in Brazil, finds independence by forming a new media outlet with help from eBay’s founder [4]. He will hopefully help nations which are victims of NSA espionage [5] without getting censored by The Guardian.

Tor, which is a project that came from the US military and is run by pseudonyms, is getting more attention from the NSA [6] and is becoming less safe to use [7], despite Edward Snowden’s promotion of it.

Snowden, the whistleblower who shamed the NSA, has his father visit him in Russia (despite or because of warnings about collaborations with the FBI) [8] and personal awards are being granted [9], with more possibly on the way [10]. Snowden is a hot target for the US government right now [11].

Richard Stallman has just published a long article about surveillance [12] and the EU Parliament, a famous victim of espionage managed by the NSA, is now turning its back on privacy [13,14].

Moves are being made to decentralise the US-centric Internet [15,16] as the NSA’s mischiefs go deeper and deeper [17,18], with complicity from US tech giants [19-22]. Lavabit is in the headline again, mostly for being the exception when it comes to selling customers down the river, only to be hunted down by the US government [23,24].

More interesting revelations come out of Britain, the US’ ally in espionage [25-28], with similar actions seen in Canada (also “Conservatives” [29]).

The NSA is fortunately having some growing pains [30]. The leaks can’t be helping Big Brother.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. China has more internet monitors than soldiers
  2. Russian embassy set up to intercept secrets: ASIO

    Russia used its embassy in Canberra to intercept Australian intelligence and political communications, targeting the capital’s main telecommunications tower, the Defence Department, Australian electronics firms and the Tidbinbilla space tracking station, according to confidential accounts of ASIO counter-espionage in the Cold War obtained by Fairfax Media.

  3. US/UK spy chiefs cover up NSA surveillance scandal

    The dis­par­ity in response to Edward Snowden’s dis­clos­ures within the USA and the UK is aston­ish­ing. In the face of right­eous pub­lic wrath, the US admin­is­tra­tion is con­tort­ing itself to ensure that it does not lose its treas­ured data-mining cap­ab­il­it­ies: con­gres­sional hear­ings are held, the media is on the warpath, and senior securo­crats are being forced to admit that they have lied about the effic­acy of endemic sur­veil­lance in pre­vent­ing ter­ror­ism.

    Just this week Gen­eral Alex­an­der, the head of the NSA with a long track record of mis­lead­ing lying to gov­ern­ment, was forced to admit that the endemic sur­veil­lance pro­grammes have only helped to foil a couple of ter­ror­ist plots. This is a big dif­fer­ence from the pre­vi­ous num­ber of 54 that he was tout­ing around.

    Cue calls for the sur­veil­lance to be reined in, at least against Amer­ic­ans. In future such sur­veil­lance should be restric­ted to tar­geted indi­vidu­als who are being act­ively invest­ig­ated. Which is all well and good, but would still leave the rest of the global pop­u­la­tion liv­ing their lives under the bale­ful stare of the US pan­op­ticon. And if the cap­ab­il­ity con­tin­ues to exist to watch the rest of the world, how can Amer­ic­ans be sure that the NSA et al won’t stealth­ily go back to watch­ing them once the scan­dal has died down — or just ask their best bud­dies in GCHQ to do their dirty work for them?

  4. Glenn Greenwald announces departure from the Guardian

    Journalist who broke stories about widespread NSA surveillance leaving to pursue ‘once-in-a-career journalistic opportunity’

  5. Glenn Greenwald to publish Snowden leaks on France and Spain
  6. Report: NSA has little success cracking Tor

    The agency has attacked other software, including Firefox, in order to compromise the anonymity tool, according to documents

  7. How the NSA identifies Tor users in 6 easy steps
  8. Snowden’s father arrives in Russia
  9. Snowden Accepts Whistleblower Award

    Though former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has been indicted for leaking secrets about the U.S. government’s intrusive surveillance tactics, he was honored by a group of former U.S. intelligence officials as a courageous whistleblower during a Moscow ceremony, reports ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern who was there.

  10. Open letter by 23 European organisations in support of Snowden’s nomination for the Sakharov prize

    Today, 23 European non-governmental organisations released an open letter to the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament in support of Edward Snowden’s nomination for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2013.

  11. Snowden: DOJ Won’t Prosecute Official For Lying, But Will Stop At Nothing To Persecute Someone For Telling The Truth
  12. Stallman: How Much Surveillance Can Democracy Withstand?

    The current level of general surveillance in society is incompatible with human rights. To recover our freedom and restore democracy, we must reduce surveillance to the point where it is possible for whistleblowers of all kinds to talk with journalists without being spotted. To do this reliably, we must reduce the surveillance capacity of the systems we use.

    Using free/libre software, as I’ve advocated for 30 years, is the first step in taking control of our digital lives. We can’t trust non-free software; the NSA uses and even creates security weaknesses in non-free software so as to invade our own computers and routers. Free software gives us control of our own computers, but that won’t protect our privacy once we set foot on the internet.

  13. Will EU Parliament Sacrifice our Privacy for Electoral Reasons?

    A crucial vote for EU Citizens fundamental right to privacy will take place on October 21st, in the “Civil Liberties” committee (LIBE) of the European Parliament. The future of the EU Regulation on the protection of individuals to the processing of their personal data will be decided by a vote on “compromise amendments”1. The rapporteur seems willing to request a mandate to enter closed-doors negotiations to severely cut short any chance of public debate. La Quadrature du Net calls on all citizens to contact the members of the LIBE committee to urge them to refuse this obscure hijacking of the democratic debate.

  14. [Video] Will EU Parliament Sacrifice our Privacy for Electoral Reasons?
  15. The US is losing control of the internet
  16. NSA Blowback Spreads to Internet Governance Organizations

    The unexpected disclosures of NSA activities by Edward Snowden presents a splendid example of U.S. government, as well as popular, indifference to world opinion. As part of its efforts to control the political damage of the embarrassing revelations, the Obama administration repeatedly stressed that only foreign nationals had been the targeted. As the breathtaking breadth of the data accessed and analyzed became clear, this rationale raised the question of how the foreign citizens – and even leaders – of U.S. allies might feel about being considered to be fair game for the NSA’s attention.

    The answer to that question is that they weren’t happy. Nor, as we will see, were a group of NGOs that had no reason to think they were targeted at all.

    Some foreign governments doubtless communicated their concerns privately through diplomatic channels. But others made their displeasure very public indeed. Brazil’s President Dima Rouseff, for one, cancelled a bilateral summit with President Obama after it was reported that her telephone calls and email had been intercepted. Late last week, she went a step further, announcing that Brazil will host a global summit to oppose U.S. surveillance.

  17. The NSA’s New Codebreakers

    But TAO doesn’t just spy on America’s rivals. In 2012, the group reportedly compromised the encryption system used by an important G8 country to transmit sensitive diplomatic communications via satellite to its embassies around the world. The same is true with a number of countries in the Middle East and South Asia, including Egypt, Syria, Iran, and Pakistan, although the details of these successes are not yet known. And finally, sources report that TAO has successfully compromised the privacy protection systems currently used on a range of 4G cell phones and hand-held devices, thanks in large part to help from a major American telecommunications company.

  18. NSA Has Spurred Renewed Interest In Thorough Security Audits Of Popular ‘Secure’ Software

    In yet another bit of fallout from the NSA surveillance efforts — and, specifically, the NSA’s covert takeover of security standards to insert vulnerabilities — it appears that there’s suddenly much more skepticism towards well-known security offerings. This is a good thing. There have already been some revelations concerning attempts to compromise Tor, and security researcher Matthew Green has now called for a thorough security audit of TrueCrypt, the (very) popular disk encryption tool. Green and some others have kicked off the project on the aptly named website IsTrueCryptAuditedYet.com.

  19. If the Internet were a game of Risk, Facebook and Google would be winning
  20. Tech titans’ muted response on NSA data mining
  21. Latest NSA revelation is black eye for Yahoo

    Yahoo plans to make encryption a default setting for all Yahoo Mail users in January — four years after rival Google took what is considered a basic security step.

  22. NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally

    The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top-secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    The collection program, which has not been disclosed before, intercepts e-mail address books and “buddy lists” from instant messaging services as they move across global data links. Online services often transmit those contacts when a user logs on, composes a message, or synchronizes a computer or mobile device with information stored on remote servers.

  23. Meet Lavabit’s founder: An American hero hiding in plain sight
  24. Lavabit Case Shows Why We Need Tech Literate Judges

    While there’s plenty of attention being paid to Lavabit’s temporary re-opening for the sake of letting people export their accounts, a much more interesting issue is the recent development in the legal case. Lavabit has filed its latest brief, and there are some interesting discussions about the details of the case. From my reading, Lavabit makes a very strong argument that the government has no right to demand the production of Lavabit’s private SSL keys, as it’s an overreach way beyond what traditional wiretapping laws allow. Lawyer Orin Kerr’s analysis argues that Lavabit’s case is weak, mainly arguing that the federal government can subpoena whatever the hell they want, and just because it conflicts with your business model: too bad. Lavabit argues that complying with the government’s order is oppressive because it would effectively mean it would be committing fraud on all its customers…

  25. Interview on London Real TV
  26. The Empire Strikes Back

    Sir Andrew Parker, the recently elev­ated Dir­ector Gen­eral of the UK’s domestic secur­ity Ser­vice (MI5) yes­ter­day made both his first pub­lic speech and a super­fi­cially robust defence of the work of the intel­li­gence agen­cies. Read­ing from the out­side, it sounds all pat­ri­otic and noble.

  27. Snowden leaks: David Cameron urges committee to investigate Guardian

    David Cameron speaks during prime minister’s questions, where he said: ‘The plain fact is that what has happened has damaged national security.’ Photograph: PA

  28. Parliamentarians warn of ‘deliberate failiure’ to conceal GCHQ capability

    Shortly after Lord Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, condemned the way the new head of MI5 had dismissed calls for greater scrutiny several senior figures involved in the scrutiny of the draft communications data bill have said that Britain’s spy agencies may be operating outside the law in the mass internet surveillance programmes uncovered by Edward Snowden.

  29. Conservatives Set To Kill Growing VPN Industry
  30. Windows Becomes Freeware, Adobe Cracked & More…

    This week we were treated to the surprising news (not) that the NSA has been going after users of TOR. We also learned that the opening of the huge data center the agency is building in the Utah desert has been again delayed, this time due to power surges that have been burning out about $100,000 in equipment with each incident. Meanwhile, as more items revealed by Edward Snowdon are released, companies offering online anonymity find their business booming.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  2. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  3. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  4. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  5. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  6. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  7. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)



  8. In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

    A roundup of news about patents in the US and how the patent microcosm attempts to patent software in spite of Alice (high-impact SCOTUS decision from 2014)



  9. “Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

    The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help



  10. As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices' track record)



  11. Intellectual Ventures -- Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) -- Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

    That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund



  12. What the Patent Microcosm is Saying About the EPO and the UPC

    Response to 3 law firms and today's output from them, which serves to inform or misinform the European public at times of Big Lies and fog of (patent) war, revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric patent warfare and lobbying



  13. Tough Day for the EPO's Media/Press/PR Team, Trying 'Damage Control' After Important Techrights Publications

    In an effort to save face and regain a sense of legitimacy the EPO publishes various things belatedly, and only after Techrights made these things publicly known and widely discussed



  14. Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

    Links for the day



  15. In IAM, Asian Courts That Deliver Justice Are “Unfriendly” and Asian Patent Trolls Are Desirable

    Rebuttal or response to the latest pieces from IAM, which keeps promoting a culture of litigation rather than sharing, collaboration, negotiation, and open innovation



  16. At EPO “I Have the Feeling That Lowering Quality is Part of a Concerted Plan.”

    Growing concern about patent quality at the EPO -- a subject which causes managers to get rather nervous -- is now an issue at the forefront



  17. EPO Reduces the World to Just Seven Nations to Bolster an Illusion of Growing 'Demand' for European Patents

    The unscientific -- if not antiscientific -- attitude of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show with the arrival of yet more misleading 'infographics' (disinfographics would be a more suitable term)



  18. Letter to Angela Merkel Expresses Concerns About Impact of EPO Scandals on Germany and Its Image

    Dr. Angela Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is being warned about the consequences of Germany ignoring (and hence facilitating) the abuses of Benoît Battistelli



  19. EPO Caricature: Low Patent Quality Not an Achievement

    A new cartoon about the legacy of Battistelli, which ruins both inventors and staff (examination) while handing money to abusers



  20. Are Lithuania and Latvia the Latest Additions to the List of Benoît Battistelli's Vassal States?

    Benoît Battistelli's 'back room' deals came at an interesting, strategic time and the Office uncharacteristically kept quiet about these



  21. Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  22. Supposedly 'Pampered' Prisoners Are Still Prisoners of the EPO

    Response to those gross and familiar attempts to portray patent examiners, not politicians who trample all over them, as the cause of all the problems at the EPO



  23. Insulting Reversal of Narratives at the EPO: Team Battistelli as the Victim

    At times of great oppression against staff, in clear defiance of the law in fact, journalists are being asked (or expected) to view the oppressor as the victim, even when this oppressor drives people to suicide



  24. Battistelli's EPO Copies China -- Not the US -- When it Comes to Patenting Software and Expanding Patent Scope

    A detailed explanation of some of the latest reports from China and the US, serving to show that one opens up to software patents whereas the other shuts the door on them (and guess whose lead the EPO is taking)



  25. What IAM Says About AST, RPX, Ericsson, and IBM

    IAM, the trolls' mouthpiece (also the EPO's mouthpiece, but that's another story), provides updates on trolls and troll-like entities, but further commentary is needed to clarify and counterbalance the promotional language



  26. Apple and Microsoft, Two Patent Aggressors That Habitually Attack GNU/Linux Distributors, Get Sued by a Patent Troll, Soverain IP

    Putting in perspective the latest high-profile (in the press at least) lawsuits filed by a notorious troll, which this time around chose as its targets two patent aggressors that deserve no sympathy because of their own actions



  27. What's OIN Doing While Microsoft is Siccing Patent Trolls on Azure Competitors' Customers?

    Microsoft's patent litigation strategy has become clearer, and patents-centric efforts such as OIN offer no defence against such a strategy, which attempts to pressure everyone to flock to Microsoft for 'protection' (from Microsoft itself)



  28. “EPO Continues to Grant Software Patents”

    The longstanding concern about the granting of software patents at the EPO (typically disguised as a "device") as reinforced by T 0625/11



  29. Links 19/3/2017: Linux Sightings, What's Wrong With Microsoft, and Death of Docker

    Links for the day



  30. Governance Crisis at EPO Deepens After Latest Meeting of the Administrative Council, Necessitating Urgent Outside Intervention

    he EPO's Administrative Council continues to be subservient to -- and without any authority over -- Team Battistelli with its endless mischief and endless power grab, including unbridled money grab


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts