The national security agency is researching opportunities to collect foreign intelligence — including the possibility of exploiting internet-connected biomedical devices like pacemakers, according to a senior official.
“We’re looking at it sort of theoretically from a research point of view right now,” Richard Ledgett, the NSA’s deputy director, said at a conference on military technology at Washington’s Newseum. Biomedical devices could be a new source of information for the NSA’s data hoards — “maybe a niche kind of thing … a tool in the toolbox,” he said, though he added that there are easier ways to keep track of overseas terrorists and foreign intelligence agents.Read more
From the time we began reporting on the archive provided to us in Hong Kong by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we sought to fulfil his two principal requests for how the materials should be handled.
They should be released in conjunction with careful reporting that puts the documents in context and makes them digestible to the public, and that the welfare and reputations of innocent people should be safeguarded. As time has gone on, The Intercept has sought out new ways to get documents from the archive into the hands of the public, consistent with the public interest as originally conceived.Read more
A top-secret document dated reveals that British spy agency GCHQ, with the knowledge and apparent cooperation of the NSA, acquired the capability to covertly exploit security vulnerabilities in 13 different models of firewalls made by Juniper Networks.
The six-page document raises questions about whether the intelligence agencies were responsible for or culpable in the creation of security holes disclosed by Juniper last week. The possibility of links between the security holes and the intelligence agencies is particularly important given an ongoing debate in the U.S. and the U.K. over whether governments should have backdoors allowing access to encrypted data.Read more
The Intercept has obtained a secret, internal U.S. government catalogue of dozens of cellphone surveillance devices used by the military and by intelligence agencies. The document also offers rare insight into the spying capabilities of federal law enforcement and local police inside the United States.
The catalogue includes details on the Stingray, a well-known brand of surveillance gear, as well as Boeing “dirt boxes” and dozens of more obscure devices that can be mounted on vehicles, drones, and piloted aircraft. Some are designed to be used at static locations, while others can be discreetly carried by an individual.Read more
After more than a decade of waiting, the unredacted contents of a National Security Letter filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been made public in court filings surrounding the case of Calyx Internet Access founder Nicholas Merrill who refused to heed the NSL delivered to him 11 years ago.
Merrill responded in a series of tweets, saying that "The FBI should not be able to silence innocent critics like myself - or hide abuses - simply by saying the magic words 'National Security.'" And he added that "the FBI shouldn't be allowed to demand private customer records without any suspicion of wrongdoing or without any approval from a court."Read more
German Chancellor Angela Merkel may not be the only high-ranking leader from that country to be spied on by the National Security Agency.
German authorities are investigating whether the head of the German Federal Chancellery unit had his laptop infected with Regin, a highly sophisticated suite of malware programs that has been linked to the NSA and its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters. Regin is among the most advanced pieces of malware ever discovered, with dozens of modules that can be used to customize attacks on targets in the telecommunications, hospitality, energy, airline, and research industries.Read more
Smartphone users can do "very little" to stop security services getting "total control" over their devices, Edward Snowden has said. The former intelligence contractor told that UK intelligence agency GCHQ had the power to hack into phones without their owners' knowledge.
GCHQ could gain access to a handset by sending it an encrypted text message and use it for such things as taking pictures and listening in. Mr Snowden did not suggest that either GCHQ or the NSA were interested in mass-monitoring of citizens' private communications but said both agencies had invested heavily in technology allowing them to hack smartphones.Read more
The EU's highest court struck down a deal that allows thousands of companies to easily transfer personal data from Europe to the United States.
Many companies, both U.S. and European, use the Safe Harbor system to help them get around cumbersome checks to transfer data between offices on both sides of the Atlantic. That includes payroll and human resources information as well as lucrative data used for online advertising, which is of particular importance to tech companies. But the decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union sounds the death knell for the system, set up by the European Commission 15 years ago.Read more
The European Court of Justice's top legal aid has said that a 15-year-old agreement that eases the transfer of data between the EU and the US should be ended, accusing American intelligence services of conducting mass, indiscriminate surveillance.
The ECJ's advocate-general said that the Safe Harbour agreement does not do enough to protect the private information of EU citizens once it arrives in the US, adding that it should have been suspended. Safe Harbour allows US firms to collect data on their European customers. The system is used by Google, Facebook, and more than 4,000 other companies.Read more
Facebook is spying on people in “the very same way” that the NSA does, said the Belgian data protection watchdog at a court hearing where the social network stands accused of violating the privacy of internet users.