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02.10.14

Richard Stallman Explains His Position on Google

Posted in TechBytes Video at 4:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TechBytes with Stallman

Direct download as Ogg

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation’s founder, talks about Google’s descent into “evil”


Made entirely using Free/libre software, heavily compressed for performance on the Web at quality’s expense

Techrights Joins ‘The Day We Fight Back’

Posted in Site News at 4:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: A Tuesday protest, titled ‘The Day We Fight Back’, has got our support

TECHRIGHTS has covered mass surveillance for a number of years now. Information about the NSA, for example, has been mostly accessible, but it was not widely published (corporate media was complicit) and there were no leaked documents to factually support key claims. At times, the truth did get published, only to be followed by puff pieces and clever denials by the abusers and their accomplices or collaborators (people like Rupert Murdoch). Noise outweighed the signal and left some people uncertain.

This week, just ahead of ‘The Day We Fight Back’, a new site run by two journalists who personally spoke to Snowden in Hong Kong and then broke NSA stories officially became public. There are some stories derived from it below. A lot of the stuff we now know is not necessarily new, but the public reaction, press reaction, etc. leave us hopeful that ‘new media’ is possible, even if the publisher cannot be trusted.

  • NIST continues using SHA-1 algorithm after banning it

    The SSL certificate for www.nist.gov is signed using the SHA-1 hashing algorithm, and was issued by VeriSign on 23 January 2014, more than three weeks after NIST’s own ban came into effect. Also issued this year, NIST’s “Secure File Transfer Service” at xnfiles.nist.gov uses a SHA-1 certificate.

    An attacker able to find SHA-1 collisions could carefully construct a pair of certificates with colliding SHA-1 hashes: one a conventional certificate to be signed by a trusted CA, the other a sub-CA certificate able to be used to sign arbitrary SSL certificates. By substituting the signature from the CA-signed certificate into the sub-CA certificate, certificate chains containing the attacker-controlled sub-CA certificate will pass browser verification checks. This attack is, however, made more difficult by path constraints and the inclusion of unpredictable data into the certificate before signing it.

  • IBM developing Self-Destructing Microchips for US Defense

    Science Fiction Movies always show the possible direction of the development of technology and gives us the opportunity to think about it. The U.S. Government is also trying to develop such technology that was introduced in movies like Star Trek and TERMINATOR i.e. Self destructing Network of computers, Sensors and other devices.

    [...]

    The project announced a year back, known as Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR), which is dedicated to developing a CMOS microchip that self-destructs when it receives a certain frequency of radio signal from military command, in order to fully destroy it and preventing it from being used by the enemy.

  • Glenn Greenwald’s New Site Goes Live With NSA Allegations

    Glenn Greenwald’s new site devoted to the security leaks of Edward Snowden and broader “adversarial journalism” has launched as The Intercept.

    The site is led by Greenwald and two other noted investigative journalists – Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill. Scahill takes the lead bylines with Greenwald on the site’s first major story – an investigation of the NSA’s role in locating targets for U.S. drone strikes.

  • NSA Refuses to Confirm or Deny Whether It Has Documents on Spy Program It Already Talked About

    I’m getting a kick out of the letters the National Security Agency (NSA) has been sending me in response to my Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

    A couple of weeks ago, the NSA refused to release 156 pages of draft talking points the agency created in the wake of the Edward Snowden leak, citing a “grave threat” to national security if any portion of the documents were declassified and released.

    Now, the NSA is refusing to confirm or deny whether it has documents on a top-secret surveillance program the agency has acknowledged exists and discussed publicly.

    This is the backstory.

    On January 16, The Guardian published a report based on documents the newspaper obtained from Snowden identifying an NSA program called DISHFIRE, which captures 200 million text messages a day from around the globe, “pretty much everything it can,” according to an internal NSA document published by The Guardian.

  • New Photos of the NSA and Other Top Intelligence Agencies Revealed for First Time

    Over the past eight months, classified documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have exposed scores of secret government surveillance programs. Yet there is little visual material among the blizzard of code names, PowerPoint slides, court rulings and spreadsheets that have emerged from the National Security Agency’s files.

  • Gov’t Officials Leak Classified Info To Journalists To Discredit Snowden For Leaking Classified Info To Journalists

    We already mentioned the bizarre NY Times article from over the weekend that described how Snowden apparently used some basic web crawler software to collect the documents he later leaked. As we noted, the basic story itself is unremarkable, other than for how the NY Times tried to turn “man uses basic tool” into a story. However, there is a really good quote from Snowden himself (via his lawyers) in response to the article. Since most of it involves senior government officials telling NYT reporters about security problems at some NSA facilities, Snowden was quick to point out the irony:

    “It’s ironic that officials are giving classified information to journalists in an effort to discredit me for giving classified information to journalists. The difference is that I did so to inform the public about the government’s actions, and they’re doing so to misinform the public about mine.”

  • What Key NSA Overseers Don’t Know About the Phone Dragnet

    Is the National Security Agency collecting and storing data on fewer telephone calls than we thought? So say reports in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and New York Times. “Although intelligence officials have indicated since last summer that the National Security Agency was vacuuming up nearly every American telephone record for counter-terrorism investigations,” the L.A. Times reports in its version, “officials acknowledged Friday that the spy agency collects data from less than a third of U.S. calls because it can’t keep pace with cellphone usage.”

  • GCHQ – Don’t Spy On Us

    On Tuesday, internet users all over the world are standing up to say no to GCHQ and the NSA’s mass surveillance. Over the last eight months we’ve heard plenty about how intelligence agencies monitor us on the Internet.

  • ‘The Day We Fight Back’ against NSA spying is Tuesday

    Even though the movement is mainly aimed at pushing the U.S. government to take action, more than 5,000 websites from around the world have committed to participating in some way to speak up for privacy protections. Some notable names taking part include the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla, and the Libertarian Party, which will run banners on their websites asking users to write their legislators and raise hell.

  • Report: NSA Relies on Unreliable Phone Data for Drone Strikes
  • NSA spying undermines separation of powers: Column

    The program makes it easy for the president to spy on and blackmail his enemies.

  • Omidyar online magazine launches with fresh NSA story

    The online news venture backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar debuted Monday, featuring fresh revelations about US intelligence from investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald.

    The news site dubbed “The Intercept” launched with two articles, including one co-authored by Greenwald stating that the US National Security Agency is relying on electronic surveillance, such as cell phone location, rather than human intelligence, to locate targets for lethal drone strikes.

    The report said the NSA “geolocates” the SIM card or handset of a suspected terrorist’s mobile phone for raids and drone strikes to capture or kill suspected terrorists.

  • NSA ‘drone strikes based on mobile phone data’

    The US National Security Agency (NSA) uses electronic surveillance rather than human intelligence in lethal drone strikes, it has been reported.

    The new publication headed by Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke the news of US government surveillance in The Guardian, claims the revelations were made by a former US drone operator.

  • The Intercept, the first online publication from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, is now live
  • Omidyar’s ‘Intercept’ launches with new NSA revelations
  • Lights Out for NSA? Maryland Lawmakers Push to Cut Water, Electricity to Spy Agency Headquarters

    The National Security Agency’s headquarters in Ft. Meade, Md., will go dark if a cohort of Maryland lawmakers has its way.

    Eight Republicans in the 141-member Maryland House of Delegates introduced legislation Thursday that would deny the electronic spy agency “material support, participation or assistance in any form” from the state, its political subdivisions or companies with state contracts.

    The bill would deprive NSA facilities water and electricity carried over public utilities, ban the use of NSA-derived evidence in state courts and prevent state universities from partnering with the NSA on research.

  • Surveillance by NSA violates 4th amendment

    What is the NSA, and what does it do? The NSA is the National Security Agency. This program is funded by the “government” – in other words, us.

    As it says at nsa.gov, its commitment is to combat terrorism around the globe, support and protect our troops in the field and adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Constitution and the laws and regulations of the United States.

    The NSA began to expand its programs after the 9/11 incident in New York. George W. Bush was president at the time. President Obama is now enforcing and expanding the program.

  • Death By Metadata: Jeremy Scahill & Glenn Greenwald Reveal NSA Role in Assassinations Overseas

    In the first exposé for their new venture, First Look Media’s digital journal The Intercept, investigative journalists Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald reveal the National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes. The NSA identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cellphone tracking technologies, an unreliable tactic that has resulted in the deaths of innocent and unidentified people. The United States has reportedly carried out drone strikes without knowing whether the individual in possession of a tracked cellphone or SIM card is in fact the intended target of the strike. Scahill and Greenwald join us in this exclusive interview to discuss their report and the launch of their media project.

  • NSA Metadata Used For Drone Strikes

    Contrary to the continual rationalizations by NSA defenders such as President Obama that metadata is benign – that it is only used to see patterns not identify individuals – it is now being reported that metadata alone is the basis for lethal drone strikes. According to First Look Media metadata, not human intelligence, is the tool the NSA is using to locate people to be assassinated by drone strikes.

  • Snowden accused of using hacking’s greatest weapon to access NSA files: wget

    Exfiltrated data said to be using previously unknown port 80. Experts remain amused by media hype.

    [...]

    So this is where the FUD and comical nature of this story starts. In essence, the big news here is that Snowden used wget, or something similar, to mirror the NSA’s SharePoint archives. This isn’t mastermind-level hacking, it’s something at any network administrator would know how to do.

  • 75 Percent of Defense Contractors Say NSA Revelations Changed Their Security Practices
  • When NSA Error Leads to Innocent People’s Deaths

Links 10/2/2013: Drones, War on Protest, Innovative Torture, and Politics of Leaks

Posted in News Roundup at 5:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drones

  • Civilian drone deaths triple in Afghanistan, UN agency finds

    Civilian drone deaths in Afghanistan tripled last year, according to a report by a UN agency. Forty-five civilians died in drone strikes in 2013.

  • Paki Wieland of Northampton gets jail time for New York drone protest

    Patricia “Paki” Wieland, Northampton, was among 12 people sentenced to jail on disorderly conduct charges during a 2012 protest at Hancock Air Base.

    Wieland, a retired professor at Antioch University New England in Keene, N.H., and 15 other members of the Upstate New York Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars were charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct after being arrested in DeWitt, N.Y., Oct. 25, 2012. Members of the group were holding a rally at the gates of Hancock Air National Guard Base when they were arrested. Wieland and her group argue that by carrying out drone strikes, which sometimes kill civilians, the United States is violating international law.

  • Anti-drone activists sent to jail in US
  • US suspect possibly targeted for drone attack

    An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.

  • A pathetic attempt to justify the use of drones and robots

    In closing, a defiant Jackson mocks his audience, saying: “Stop whining about drones”. I daresay the families of unintended drone victims around the world are unlikely to get behind him on this one.

  • US droning to fuel Yemenis’ sympathy for Al-Qaeda

    A drone-fired US missile struck a car southeast of here on a winter night last year, killing two alleged Al-Qaeda operatives who lived openly in their community. But it also killed two cousins who were giving the men a ride and who the Yemeni government later said were innocents in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    That incident, and other strikes that have followed, helped fuel anger here over civilian casualties from US drone attacks and what critics say is an even less scrutinized problem: The targeting of suspects who are within the reach of the law.

  • Drone strikes increasingly rely on NSA surveillance data, report suggests

    The CIA and U.S. military are increasingly relying on surveillance information from the NSA to locate then attack drone targets, with innocent people being killed as a result, according to allegations made in a new publication, The Intercept.

  • The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program

    The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people.

  • Drone strikes kill innocents by targeting NSA phone data, not people: Greenwald

    The NSA’s surveillance programs are often used to help carry out drone strikes on targets, according to a new report. An anonymous former drone operator for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) told The Intercept — a new publication helmed by Glenn Greenwald, who broke the first of many NSA revelations last year — that the US military and CIA use the NSA’s metadata analysis and phone tracking abilities to identify airstrike targets without confirming their veracity on the ground. The claims were corroborated by documents provided by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

  • Obama Drone Campaign “Verges on Genocide” Legal Authority Says

    In an exclusive interview, Boyle points out that “Obama’s victims are Muslims” and Article II of the 1948 Genocide Convention expressly defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group””

  • Surviving anti-Semitism smear, Walt and Mearsheimer seem to have influence in high places

    As for Mearsheimer, the National Interest has published an important piece by the realist scholar that takes on elitist liberal-interventionist ideas more forcefully than any article I’ve read. Called “America Unhinged,” the piece argues that the U.S. has no dog in the Syria fight and no ability to affect the outcome, and– this will be echoed by the left– the price of liberal interventionism has been the loss of civil liberties at home to a national security state and the destruction of American example abroad by the murderous drone attacks.

Torture

  • CIA torture techniques in Libya included prolonged diapering and use of insects

    Other approved torture techniques described included “the attention grasp, walling, the facial hold, the facial slap (insult slap), the abdominal slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivation beyond 72 hours … the use of harmless insects, the water board.”

  • How a CIA Whistleblower Survives Behind Bars

    It’s been one year since former CIA analyst and counterterrorism officer John Kiriakou was sentenced to prison for 30 months, the first American official to do time for the government’s torture policies during the Global War on Terror.

    This is what whistleblower advocates like to point out – and Kiriakou, 49, strongly believes himself – that he is not in jail for doing the torture or even promoting it, but being the first counterterrorism official to acknowledge the use of waterboarding, and then speak publicly against it.

Wikileaks

  • Julian Assange Affidavit States ‘Rape Victim’ Sent Texts Denying Attack

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has claimed that a woman he is alleged to have raped sent text messages admitting that he never assaulted her.

  • Swedish MPs urge end to Julian Assange impasse
  • Lawyer criticizes calls to end rape investigation of Assange

    A lawyer for one of the Swedish women accusing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of rape ripped calls by some public officials for an end to the investigation.

  • Text Messages from Victim of Alleged Rape, Molestation Prove Assange Innocent: Wikileak Affidavit

    Even as members of Sweden’s parliament have been stepping up pressure on prosecutors to question Julian Assange on the sexual allegations he faces in the country, Assange in a Wikileaks affidavit has claimed that text messages between the two alleged victims prove his innocence.

  • Former Swedish Prosecutor Urges Termination of Julian Assange Case

    A former Swedish prosecutor has written an op-ed for the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, where he suggests the country’s office i# charge of pursuing the case against WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange terminate it entirely.

    Rolf Hillegren urges the Prosecutor General to reverse the decision to reopen the investigation, revoke the detention order and withdraw the arrest warrant.

    For three years, Sweden has been trying to have him extradited so he can be questioned on sexual allegations made by two women. He sought and obtained asylum from Ecuador and has been living in the Ecuadorean embassy in the United Kingdom since June 2012.

  • New Wikileaks Revelation Exposes Big State Department Lie, This Time in Bahrain

    John Timoney has a face like a fist and a CV out of The Departed. He’s been a cop in New York, Miami and Philadelphia. And now he’s advising the Bahraini government on policing matters.

    That’s the Bahraini government, the one that gases, tortures and kills protesters as their preferred method of public order policing. And that’s Timoney, who’s been called “the worst cop in America” and faced hundreds of complaints over his violent approach to public order policing in the U.S.

  • WildLeaks Is the WikiLeaks for Wildlife Crimes

    As the illegal wildlife trade has boomed, it’s also become more sophisticated. High prices for ivory, rhino horn, pangolin, and everything else have attracted organized crime and militants, and despite regular busts, entrenched trafficking rings remain elusive. To aid law enforcement and gather intelligence, a group of wildlife organizations have launched WildLeaks, a secure whistleblower and tipping system modeled after WikiLeaks.

  • WildLeaks launched – the WikiLeaks for wildlife
  • WikiLeaks Gets Bulk of Donation Via Bitcoin and LiteCoin

    The organisation that publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources, revealed the information in a tweet. However, it did not mention the percentage of funding in digital currencies.

Politics

  • “F**k the EU”: Tape Reveals US Runs Ukraine Opposition

    The tape (listen below) was released today, on the eve of Nuland’s second trip to meet with Ukrainian protestors and opposition leaders in the past two months — last time she passed out cookies to protestors.

    The taped conversation demonstrates in clear detail that while Secretary of State John Kerry decries any foreign meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs, his State Department is virtually managing the entire process. The “F**k the EU” part is her expressing anger that the EU is not moving fast enough with regime change in Ukraine and her plan is to get the UN involved in the process.

  • U.S. Violates Nuclear Arms Treaty – Tests B-61 Nuke

    The “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” says that member States should be disarming their nuclear weapons, not restoring, rebuilding, arming, and testing them. This test seems to be in direct contradiction to the Treaty, at a time when the U.S. is engaged with measures to prevent Iran from enriching its uranium.

  • Cold War Geopolitics in Sochi. Western Media “Bashes” Vladimir Putin

    Western anti-Russian sentiment persists.

Privacy Links 10/2/2013: State Surveillance, Private Surveillance, and ‘Dirty Tricks’

Posted in News Roundup at 4:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News which shows the importance of privacy (collected during the weekend and early Monday)

  • Snowden Docs: British Spies Used Sex and ‘Dirty Tricks’

    British spies have developed “dirty tricks” for use against nations, hackers, terror groups, suspected criminals and arms dealers that include releasing computer viruses, spying on journalists and diplomats, jamming phones and computers, and using sex to lure targets into “honey traps.”

    Documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden and exclusively obtained by NBC News describe techniques developed by a secret British spy unit called the Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group (JTRIG) as part of a growing mission to go on offense and attack adversaries ranging from Iran to the hacktivists of Anonymous. According to the documents, which come from presentations prepped in 2010 and 2012 for NSA cyber spy conferences, the agency’s goal was to “destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt” enemies by “discrediting” them, planting misinformation and shutting down their communications.

  • New bill demands that smartphones have “kill switch” in case of theft

    A California state legislator has introduced SB 962, a bill that would require smartphones sold in the state to include a “kill switch” that would “render inoperable” the phone if it’s not in the possession of the rightful owner.

  • PGP Web of Trust: Core Concepts Behind Trusted Communication

    If you’ve ever used Linux, you’ve most likely used OpenPGP without even realizing it. The open-source implementation of OpenPGP is called GnuPG (stands for “GNU Privacy Guard”), and nearly all distributions rely on GnuPG for package integrity verification. Next time you run “yum install” or “yum update”, each package will be verified against its cryptographic signature before it is allowed to be installed on your system. This assures that the software has not been altered between the time it was cryptographically signed by distribution developers on the master server, and the time it was downloaded to your system.

  • NBC News’ Richard Engel: My Computers, Cellphone Were Hacked ‘Almost Immediately’ In Sochi

    NBC News’ Richard Engel said that upon arriving in Russia to cover the upcoming event, he was hacked “almost immediately” — and privacy is not something visitors should expect to have.

  • Police will have ‘backdoor’ access to health records despite opt-out, says MP

    David Davis says police would be able to approach central NHS database without a warrant as critics warn of catastrophic breach of trust

  • Don’t Spy On Us – Help get the word out!

    On Tuesday, internet users all over the world are standing up to say no to GCHQ and the NSA’s mass surveillance. Over the last eight months we’ve heard plenty about how intelligence agencies monitor us on the Internet.

  • The People Vs the NSA
  • Tuesday declared ‘The Day we Fight Back’ against NSA et al

    A broad coalition of technology companies and activist groups has declared Tuesday, February 11th 2014 has been “The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance”.

  • Media sometimes try, fail to keep NSA’s secrets

    News organizations publishing leaked National Security Agency documents have inadvertently disclosed the names of at least six intelligence workers and other government secrets they never intended to give away, an Associated Press review has found.

  • Media has disclosed intelligence workers names in NSA coverage
  • An Open Letter to Advertisers in the NSA Era

    Along these lines, a recent Pew Internet Center survey found that the clear majority of respondents are making great efforts to mask their identities online. Looking at this data, we need to be frank: We have long had a contentious relationship with the public, and this fundamentally doesn’t help any brand’s bottom line. In the interest of rebuilding consumer trust, which is so essential to the bottom line, we need to be proactive about addressing privacy concerns in personalization, targeting and measurement.

  • Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The NSA

    Even before the Snowden leaks of last year, the EFF had their suspicions in regards to what the NSA was up to. The group even tried to get the government to spill the beans a few times through lawsuits that never went anyway. As you can imagine, the Snowden leaks helped their cause greatly, and now they’re trying to educate the public on just how far the NSA goes.

  • Google, Facebook, Microsoft hire first anti-NSA lobbyist in Washington

    Technology powers like Apple and Google have coalesced to register a lobbyist in Washington to focus on government surveillance reform in an effort to maintain credibility following NSA spying disclosures that often implicated them as accomplices.

  • More NSA outrage: spying violates attorney-client privilege

    Reporter Nick Nicharios asks a very simple but extremely important question in his latest article for The Nation: “Has the NSA wiretapping violated attorney-client privilege?” Evidence leaked by Edward Snowden seems to prove just that when it comes to some terrorism cases. Nick Nicharios talks to host Rob Sachs about how in many cases there was no clear protocol as to when to turn off the monitoring of phone calls, which has led to monitoring of phone calls between lawyers and their clients.

  • Turning table on NSA, US diplomats’ phone call is bugged, leaked to YouTube

    US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine, clearly thought they were speaking on a secure line when discussing the political unrest in Ukraine and how the US government should help resolve the crisis. At one point during the January 25 call, Nuland colorfully rejected recent overtures from European Union leaders by telling her colleague: “Fuck the EU.”

  • Protesters Take to the Web to Address NSA Surveillance Concerns

    Thousands are scheduled to gather on Tuesday to protest the surveillance state, but don’t expect any news of riots at the White House gates or marches on the National Mall.

  • How Hackers and Software Companies are Beefing Up NSA Surveillance

    Imagine that you could wander unseen through a city, sneaking into houses and offices of your choosing at any time, day or night. Imagine that, once inside, you could observe everything happening, unnoticed by others—from the combinations used to secure bank safes to the clandestine rendezvous of lovers. Imagine also that you have the ability to silently record everybody’s actions, whether they are at work or play without leaving a trace. Such omniscience could, of course, make you rich, but perhaps more important, it could make you very powerful.

  • Torvald’s Thumbs Up, Gates’ Computer Skills & More…

    In more Snowden news, we learned on Wednesday from PCWorld that the Brit spy agency GCHQ has been engaging in a game of tit-for-tat with the hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec. Evidently they’ve used DDOS attacks and other techniques to an attempt to disrupt the organizations activities. They’ve also managed to do a bit of infiltrating.

  • NSA Whistleblower Thomas DrakeTranscript: Obama’s NSA Policy, Benghazi, 911, Problems with NSA…

    In 2010 the government alleged that Drake mishandled documents, one of the few such espionage cases in the US history, where he was tried under the Espionage Act. The fact is that 60 Minutes did a story on him and shortly after, almost every single charge was dropped except for “misuse of a computer”, for which Drake paid incredibly dearly. So, we’re going to talk about a whole lot of topics about NSA, about the President’s new speech today and a whole lot more.

  • Former NSA official Thomas Drake to speak at Tacoma event

    Drake since has traveled the nation talking about government surveillance efforts and his contention that they violate the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental rights of all Americans.

  • Websites look to ‘harness the outrage’

    Thousands of websites on Tuesday will take a stand against government surveillance by plastering protests across their home pages.

    Tech companies and civil liberties organizations are hoping the demonstration, called The Day We Fight Back, will replicate their success in defeating the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) in 2012.

  • Facebook leaks Private Messages by because of Typo

    Facebook is not secure after all, as users of this social network, we have private settings where by we can change our private setting and regulate the people who can see our personal information and those who are not allowed to see the information. But is this truly what happens.

  • What Facebook knows about you

    Facebook has spent the past 10 years building a business upon your personal information.

  • Yet Another Surveillance Tool in FBI Hands. But How Are They Using It?

    Yesterday, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI asking for details about a surveillance tool we know too little about, called a port reader. According to news reports, port readers copy entire emails and instant messages as they move through networks, in real time. They then delete the contents of the messages, leaving only the “metadata” — the sender, recipient, and time of a message, and maybe even the location from which it was sent — behind for the government. According to the same reports, the FBI is taking steps to install port readers on the networks of major U.S. phone and Internet companies, going so far as to make threats of contempt of court to providers that don’t cooperate.

  • Overhead: New Photos of the NSA and Other Top Intelligence Agencies Revealed for First Time
  • Rep. Peter King: Security Reforms At The NSA Will Prevent Future Snowdens

    Following a stinging report in the New York Times explaining how Edward Snowden was able to collect his trove of top-secret government documents, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y) this morning took to the Sunday show Face The Nation to make the following claim (full transcript): “A lot that have has been changed; there is monitoring now of what goes on. Snowden would not be able to do it again in the future.”

  • States Step Up Efforts to Stymie NSA Surveillance

    Ironically, as many conservatives have given up hope on nullification as a way to fight back against federal overreach, several national news stories are highlighting those very state efforts.

    For example, in a big story for February 5, the Associated Press reports, “State lawmakers around the nation are proposing bills to curtail the powers of law enforcement to monitor and track citizens.”

    The message from these states to Capitol Hill, the story says, is “if you don’t take action to strengthen privacy, we will.”

  • Shunned as NSA Advisers, Academics Question Their Ties to the Agency
  • NSA Maintains Secret ‘Five Eyes’ Satellite Facility In Israel – OpEd

    If this is the message, it’s not being broadcast in a way that will find a receptive ear in Washington. American spooks don’t like their cover blown, no matter the reason or motivation. If Bibi thought this would make a positive impression on the Obama administration, he’s naïve. But my guess is that this isn’t intended for Obama’s ears. It’s intended as ammunition for the Lobby in making its case both about Iran sanctions and the Kerry peace talks. Members on Capitol Hill can use this new development as grist for the pro-Israel mill in their future Israel-related legislative deliberations.

    This is yet another example of how out of synch Israel is with the U.S. administration. Bibi speaks over Obama’s head instead of directly to him. There is no direct communication. No point of common contact.

  • Wave of NSA Reports Strain Ties With Europe

    A furor in Europe over new reports of National Security Agency surveillance is undermining U.S. efforts to move beyond the affair and has thrown plans for a trans-Atlantic trade agreement into question just weeks before talks are scheduled to resume.

    U.S. officials, including President Barack Obama, have engaged in a diplomatic offensive in recent weeks aimed at putting European fears over the data collection to rest. But a wave of European media reports based on information provided by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden have provided further details of the U.S. surveillance programs, confounding Washington’s efforts.

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