Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google on Monday began publishing details about the number of secret government requests for data they receive, hoping to show limited involvement in controversial U.S. surveillance efforts.
The tech industry has pushed for greater transparency on government data requests, seeking to shake off concerns about their involvement in vast, surreptitious surveillance programs revealed last summer by former spy contractor Edward Snowden. The government said last month it would relax rules restricting what details companies can disclose about Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court orders they receive for user information.Read more
Representatives of Obama‘s Administration continue to insist that spying on Americans is not a violation of constitutional rights of citizens and carried out exclusively in the interests of national security.
However, Chris Kitts, the father of beforeitsnews.com, believes that the obtained information is used not only for security purposes.
According to Chris Kitts, Washington creates “The machine for the implementation blackmail. Now they have access to the emails of people who are in the data store in Utah.Read more
Russian authorities put global communications providers on a tight leash demanding to gain access to users’ personal data and online correspondence.
A group of deputies representing all 4 political parties of State Duma presented a project of legislations aiming to support surveillance agencies to counter threats to national security.
A separate set of amendments forces telecommunication companies, including hosting providers and website owner to store data on “reception, transmission, processing and delivery of various electronic information” for the period of 6 months.Read more
Syrian computer hacker conglomerate, the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), has kicked off the New Year with a number of cyber-attacks, compromising Skype’s Twitter, Facebook accounts, and its official blog.
Social media accounts belonging to Skype, Microsoft’s voice-over-IP service, were hacked around 19:30 GMT. SEA posted on Skype's Twitter account a rogue message saying "Stop spying on people! via Syrian Electronic Army."
The hacker group also urged people not to use Microsoft accounts because the company is “selling the data to the governments.”Read more
Ostensibly concerned that terrorists would disguise themselves as gamers in order to secretly communicate, agents from the NSA, CIA, Pentagon and Britain's GCHQ have posed undercover in online realms like World of Warcraft, Second Life, and Xbox Live. In fact, the practice grew so popular with the spy agencies that a special "deconfliction" group was established to prevent the agents from inadvertently spying on or trying to recruit each other.
Our country's best and brightest began disguising themselves as digital trolls, elves, and supermodels in 2008, after a top-secret NSA documents—provided by Edward Snowden described the games as a "target-rich communication network" that lets terrorists and other criminals "hide in plain sight."Read more
Government requests for data soared from 3,580 in 2009 to 10,918, Google said on Thursday -- and those are only the data demands the web giant is allowed to publish.
A 2013 Transparency Report described on the Internet giant's Public Policy blog is the latest in an ongoing effort to provide a window into worldwide governmental efforts to tap into the digital profiles Google builds and the digital communications it relays. The report revealed a tremendous increase worldwide in government efforts to mine Google’s data.
The company has used the periodic disclosures as an opportunity to push back against those government demands, many of which Google is banned from even discussingRead more
Microsoft has declared war on Google in a series of high profile criticisms about the way the firm scans the contents of every email its users send to target ads at them.
Microsoft has launched a campaign openly criticising its rival Google for snooping on people’s emails.
The software company has said it is appalled how Google uses “private information for profit” and found the majority of people think scanning emails is “an invasion of privacy. “ In a series of new adverts, Microsoft explains how Google reads every email users send, picking up on key words to target advertising in a bid to make more cash.Read more
Facebook received about 26,000 government requests for information about 38,000 users in the first six months of 2013, with half of the orders coming from the United States government.
The social networking service published the numbers on Monday, following the release of customer information data requests from Microsoft and Google. Facebook said government agents from 74 countries demanded information about its users, but the vast majority of these requests came from the US. US federal law allows the government to demand Facebook data without a warrant, and companies must fight such requests in secret court hearings if they deny them.Read more
The German government has recommended that Federal Administration and other high profile public sector departments in the country do not use Windows 8 because, it warns, it contains security backdoors that cannot be controlled or trusted, and that may be easily accessible by the NSA.
The warnings are present in leaked documents obtained by German daily newspaper Zeit.de:
"Due to the loss of full sovereignty over the information technology, the security objectives of ‘confidentiality' and ‘integrity' can no longer be guaranteed. "This can have significant consequences on the IT security of the Federal Administration," the documents say.Read more
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.
The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind.
The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers.Read more