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11.27.13

Latest NSA Scandals: Interception of UK Wired Communications, Blackmail and Demonisation by Spying on Sex Surfing

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 11:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Obama won't look

Summary: Espionage, warrantless interception, and other illegal activities highlight the need for freedom-respecting software (with ethics built in)

THE CRIMINAL, villainous operations of the NSA just keep getting worse. More so-called ‘allies’ turn out to have been stabbed in the back. Based on [1,2], we in the UK are under NSA surveillance in a wholesale fashion (no discrimination) and the NSA goes after civil disobedience by means of shaming, e.g. espionage and blackmail [3]. It’s like COINTELPRO all over again, but this time it’s international and it targets many groups.

US politicians are growingly uncomfortable about it [4] and so are European politicians [5]. Those who were complicit are getting negative publicity [6,7] as there is clear abuse of the law (using anti-terror pretext for corporate purposes [8]) at huge but secret expense to the public [9].

Those who publish the facts receive an award [10], those who repeat propaganda get educated [11], and FOSS developers are working on solutions right about now [12,13,14].

The NSA has helped show why Free software is essential; without it, there is no trust and there is a lot of complicity/collusion. Secrecy is often an indication of misconduct. We need to fight secrecy.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Verizon, BT, Vodafone, Level 3 ‘let NSA hook into Google, Yahoo! fiber’

    Verizon, BT, Vodafone, Level 3 ‘let NSA hook into Google, Yahoo! fiber’ • The Register

  2. NYT: NSA May Have Spied on Google, Yahoo Data Centers Via Fiber-Optic Cables
  3. Top-Secret Document Reveals NSA Spied On Porn Habits As Part Of Plan To Discredit ‘Radicalizers’

    The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document. The document, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, identifies six targets, all Muslims, as “exemplars” of how “personal vulnerabilities” can be learned through electronic surveillance, and then exploited to undermine a target’s credibility, reputation and authority.

    The NSA document, dated Oct. 3, 2012, repeatedly refers to the power of charges of hypocrisy to undermine such a messenger. “A previous SIGINT” — or signals intelligence, the interception of communications — “assessment report on radicalization indicated that radicalizers appear to be particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviors are not consistent,” the document argues.

  4. Senators want to stop giving the NSA a big ol’ ‘stamp of approval’ to spy on anyone

    “They who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  5. Brussels considers options to respond to NSA spying scandal
  6. EU intelligence agencies complicit in NSA snoops, says top US senator
  7. The German BND does the bidding of USA spies

    An inter­view on the Ger­man main­stream TV chan­nel ARD. The pro­gramme is called FAKT Magazin:

  8. Korea and Singapore Alleged to Have Assisted NSA in Eavesdropping – See more at: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/2279/help-eavesdropping-korea-and-singapore-alleged-have-assisted-nsa-eavesdropping#sthash.8hwNaK0z.dpuf
  9. New Zealand MP asks if NSA spied on Kim Dotcom

    A cryptic comment in a police report is raising questions about whether the United States’ National Security Agency spied on internet tycoon and New Zealand resident Kim Dotcom.

  10. Illuminating The Billion Dollar U.S. Intelligence Budget: Project SpyLighter Documents NSA Surveillance Technology

    Documents released by the U.S. National Security Agency in the last couple of months, following successful Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests as part of a new crowdsourcing project called SpyLighter, reveal the agency purchased products from Packet Forensics and VUPEN Security in 2010 and 2012. The two companies are well known for selling Internet surveillance technology and software exploits to governments and businesses world-wide.

  11. Guardian wins Liberty award for articles about GCHQ and NSA spying
  12. If You Don’t Care About The NSA Because You ‘Haven’t Done Anything Wrong,’ You’re Wrong

    That’s worth keeping in mind any time someone writes off the NSA as not being an issue for them because they’ve “done nothing wrong.” Driving home that point is an excellent short “Op-Doc” in the NY Times by filmmaker Brian Knappenberger, which has brief interviews with a bunch of great people (many of whom you’ll hopefully recognize) explaining in very clear terms why you should absolutely care about the NSA. There are many reasons discussed, but a simple one, highlighted by David Sirota, goes back to that quote above. You can claim that you’ve done nothing wrong all you want. However, if someone really powerful decides they want to railroad you, you’d be surprised at how much it can be made to look like you’ve “done wrong.” And when the NSA (or the FBI) can readily access all sorts of data about your life, their ability to build such a story increases tremendously.

  13. Is open source encryption the answer to NSA snooping?

    The NSA had cracked Internet encryption.

    The NSA was listening in to everything.

    European customers were especially concerned, he says.

    Fortunately, many of the headlines had been unnecessarily alarmist.

    “The earlier types of encryption, with 64 bits or less, the NSA has figured out how to brute force decrypt at least some of that traffic,” he says. “But the more modern, strong encryption, with 128 or 256 encryption units, they can’t decrypt that. And it bothers them no end.”

  14. Open router project launched to improve network privacy

    But could the push back against the NSA’s comprehensive surveillance with new privacy-enhancing technology be jeopardised by community reluctance for large-scale collaboration?

  15. Brisbane devs design open source router to beat NSA snooping

    Four Brisbane security researchers are fighting back against government surveillance by building a router based on open source components designed to make security and privacy verifiable and more accessible to users.

    The Open Router Project (ORP-1) router would be built on open source hardware and software to allow users to check that the unit was free of vulnerabilities and backdoors.

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