Should tech companies be obliged to guarantee government access to encrypted data on smartphones and other digital devices, and is that even possible without compromising the security of law-abiding customers?
Recently, the head of the National Security Agency provided a rare hint of what some U.S. officials think might be a technical solution. Why not, suggested Adm. Michael S. Rogers, require technology companies to create a digital key that could open any smartphone or other locked device to obtain text messages or photos?Read more
US companies will likely lose more than $35 billion in foreign business as a result of the vast NSA-surveillance operations revealed by Edward Snowden. The entire American tech industry has performed worse than expected as a result of the Snowden leaks.
The massive financial hit is likely one key reason leading major American tech firms, like Apple and Google, to not only include strong encryption in their smartphones, tablets, and services, but to also publicly oppose the outlawing of strong encryption. To reverse the trend, the report’s authors recommend, the U.S. government must follow five key directions.Read more
Documents leaked by Edward Snowden show that the U.S. government has widened the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance of Americans' international Internet traffic in the hunt for hackers.
The classified documents came from Snowden, the former NSA contractor who lives as a fugitive in Russia. In mid-2012, Justice Department lawyers wrote two secret memos allowing the NSA to begin hunting on Internet cables, without a warrant and inside the United States, for data linked to computer intrusions originating abroad, according to the documents. It said the data included traffic that flows to suspicious Internet addresses or contains malware.Read more
Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know that the National Security Agency collects the phone records of every American in order to keep the country safe from terrorism.
But for the past eight months a group of artists claiming to work for the NSA on "a freelance, pro bono basis" have been recording people's private conversations in popular bars, restaurants, and gyms in Lower Manhattan to ensure that no actionable intelligence falls through the cracks. None of the recordings contain any last names or other forms of information that would allow the people in the recordings to be directly identified, but first names flow freely.Read more
The US Senate failed to pass the Freedom Act, as a vote fell three votes shy of the 60 needed to bring the measure to the Senate floor. Other measures to replace or revise the expiring Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act also were blocked, marking a temporary setback for efforts to continue the bulk collection.
Promoters of the USA Freedom Act, approved by the US House of Representatives earlier, claim that the law would have ended bulk collection of telephone records and metadata carried out under Section 215, which empowers the NSA, FBI, and other government agencies to seize and spy on telephone records.Read more
The House overwhelmingly approved legislation to end the federal government’s bulk collection of phone records, exerting enormous pressure on the Senate majority leader, who insists that dragnet sweeps continue in defiance of many of those in his Republican Party.
Under the bipartisan bill, the Patriot Act would be changed to prohibit bulk collection by the National Security Agency of metadata charting telephone calls made by Americans. However, while the House version of the bill would take the government out of the collection business, it would not deny it access to the information.Read more
A federal appeals court has ruled that the National Security Agency program to collect information on billions of telephone calls made or received by Americans is illegal.
A law Congress passed allowing collection of information relevant to terrorism investigations does not authorize the so-called “bulk collection” of phone records on the scale of the NSA program. The judges did not address whether the program violated the Constitution. Writing for a unanimous panel, Judge Gerard Lynch said allowing the government to gather data in a blanket fashion was not consistent with the statute used to carry out the program.Read more
HBO comedian John Oliver traveled to Russia and spoke with former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last week in a wide-ranging interview that touched on the Patriot Act’s upcoming expiration date, his “vindication” in releasing the NSA documents – and even a comical take on government access to Americans’ naked selfies.
Snowden said that the U.S. was spying on anybody they could remotely link to terrorist activities, and in some cases, no connection whatsoever. Snowden said he felt it was his duty to let the American people decide if this is the government they want. The NSA has the greatest surveillance capabilities that we’ve ever seen in history.Read more
Last month Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria.
You’ve probably heard a lot about online mass surveillance, but maybe you’re wondering how exactly intelligence agencies are monitoring you. Helpfully, they like to give their surveillance programmes silly codenames, so we can explain what’s going on. Here’s our top 10 NSA and GCHQ surveillance programmes, brought to you by Amnesty International and Privacy International.Read more
The organization that operates the wildly popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia, says user privacy has been violated and that it's going to court to try to fix it.
Wikimedia filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Maryland against the National Security Agency and the US Department of Justice for allegedly violating its constitutional rights on Wikipedia. The organization argues that an NSA program collecting information wholesale across the Internet, known as upstream surveillance, is a violation of its First Amendment right of free speech and a violation of the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable search and seizure.Read more