Major tech companies have urged President Obama not to give the FBI backdoor access to smartphone data. Security specialists and privacy groups stating that strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy's security.
All of the players feel that it's impossible to build a backdoor for governments in email, cellphone encryption and other communications without creating vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers or hostile nations. Obama previously said that while he's in favor of stronger encryption, the only concern is our law enforcement is expected to stop every (terrorist) plot.Read more
Russian hackers behind the damaging cyber intrusion of the State Department in recent months used that perch to penetrate sensitive parts of the White House computer system, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigation.
While the White House has said the breach only affected an unclassified system, that description belies the seriousness of the intrusion. The hackers had access to sensitive information such as real-time non-public details of the president's schedule. While such information is not classified, it is still highly sensitive and prized by foreign intelligence agencies, U.S. officials say.Read more
President Barack Obama is taking aim at "malicious cyber actors" who attempt to profit from digital attacks on US interests. An executive order to impose sanctions on cyberattackers hacking into the networks of US companies or government agencies.
The White House aims to make it hard for hackers to profit from stolen information. After identifying the people behind a cyberattack the USA could impose sanctions that would prevent US companies from doing business with them. Individuals would also be banned from traveling to the United States. This new executive order is specifically designed to be used to go after the most significant malicious cyber actors.Read more
President Obama’s digital security leaves something to be desired. In remarks at a cybersecurity summit at Stanford University, Obama admitted he's used some passwords that are pretty easy for cyber criminals to access.
The glib comment speaks to a deeper vulnerability about many people’s use of passwords, which are often simplistic and unoriginal. Those weak passwords don’t pose much of a challenge to hackers and have made it easier for them to intrude into people’s personal or corporate networks. As more and more information about people’s communications, travels and lives moves online, security experts have pushed for a move toward more secure authentication systems.Read more
Does the US lack cybersecurity manpower? Even if it adds thousands of security pros, can Washington stay ahead of the hackers? And how can the federal government compete for top talent with the likes of Facebook, Google, and Twitter?
Michael Daniel has been on a recruitment drive since becoming White House Cybersecurity Coordinator more than two years ago. He’s been on the hunt for more skilled security pros to join the government’s fight against criminal hackers, as well as championing the cause for an all-around more digitally vigilant workforce.Read more
A leading ally of Angela Merkel has critically responded to the US government to provide adequate guarantees on its spying tactics. The expectations of making some progress in the bilateral talks have been set to the next month as the German leader visits Washington.
According to the classified information, provided last October by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, US intelligence agents were able "to bug” Ms. Merkel’s mobile phone from a listening post on the US Embassy roof. This caused outrage in Germany, where any surveillance actions are particularly sensitive because of the link to the East German Stasi secret police and the Nazis.Read more
The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden.
A senior manager for the program compares it to a time machine — one that can replay the voices from any call without requiring that a person be identified in advance for surveillance. On Jan. 17, President Obama called for significant changes to the way the NSA collects and uses telephone records of U.S. citizens.Read more
From his sanctuary in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, with roughly a dozen police officers outside, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Saturday that everyone in the world will be just as effectively monitored soon -- at least digitally.
"The ability to surveil everyone on the planet is almost there and, arguably, will be there in the next couple of years," said Assange, speaking to a large audience at the South by Southwest Interactive festival here.
Assange rocketed to international fame, and infamy, in 2010 after Wikileaks began helping publish secret government documents online.Read more
The Obama administration has asked a special surveillance court for approval to retain records of millions of Americans' phone calls stored by the National Security Agency — an unintended consequence of lawsuits seeking to stop the data-surveillance program.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Justice Department was considering such a move, which would end up expanding the controversial database by not routinely deleting older call records. Under the current system, the database is purged of phone records more than five years old. The Justice Department, in a filing made public Wednesday, said it needs to retain the older records to preserve evidence for law suits brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and others.Read more
The White House on Thursday disputed the findings of an independent review board that said the National Security Agency's mass data collection program is illegal and should be ended, indicating the administration would not be taking that advice.
"We simply disagree with the board's analysis on the legality of the program," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. He was responding to a scathing report from The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), which said the program ran afoul of the law on several fronts. "The ... bulk telephone records program lacks a viable legal foundation," the board's report said, adding that it raises "serious threats to privacy and civil liberties" and has "only limited value."Read more