Google is stepping up efforts to toughen data encryption in an effort to limit unofficial snooping on user information in the wake of the revelations about the NSA and PRISM. Eric Grosse, vice president for security engineering at Google said "It's an arms race", as he described government hackers as "among the most skilled players in this game."
In the aftermath of leaked documents from Edward Snowden, suggesting that some US companies have made it easy for information to flow to the government, Google is keen to show it is doing its utmost to protect its users' privacy. The company, that it would still have to comply with any legally approved Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requests and would hand over data whenever obligated to.Read more
US and British intelligence agencies have successfully cracked much of the online encryption relied upon by hundreds of millions of people to protect the privacy of their personal data, online transactions and emails, according to top-secret documents revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden.
The files show that the National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have broadly compromised the guarantees that internet companies have given consumers to reassure them that their communications, online banking and medical records would be indecipherable to criminals or governments.Read more
It has been revealed today, thanks to Edward Snowden, that Google and other US tech companies received millions of dollars from the NSA for their compliance with the PRISM mass surveillance system.
So just how close is Google to the US securitocracy? Back in 2011 I had a meeting with Eric Schmidt, the then Chairman of Google, who came out to see me with three other people while I was under house arrest. You might suppose that coming to see me was gesture that he and the other big boys at Google were secretly on our side: that they support what we at WikiLeaks are struggling for: justice, government transparency, and privacy for individuals. But that would be a false supposition.Read more
Michele Catalano was looking for information online about pressure cookers. Her husband, in the same time frame, was Googling backpacks. Wednesday morning, six men from a joint terrorism task force showed up at their house to see if they were terrorists. Which begs the question: How'd the government know what they were Googling?
The men identified themselves as members of the "joint terrorism task force." The composition of such task forces depends on the region of the country, but, as we outlined after the Boston bombings, includes a variety of federal agencies. Among them: the FBI and Homeland Security.Read more
Microsoft worked hand-in-hand with the United States government in order to allow federal investigators to bypass encryption mechanisms meant to protect the privacy of millions of users, Edward Snowden.
According to an article published on Thursday by the British newspaper, internal National Security Agency memos show that Microsoft actually helped the federal government find a way to decrypt messages sent over select platforms, including Outlook.com Web chat, Hotmail email service, and Skype. Snowden, the 30-year-old former systems administrator for NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, provided the paper with files detailing.Read more
About a year after Facebook reportedly joined PRISM, Max Kelly, the social network's chief security officer left for a job at the National Security Agency, either a curious career move or one that makes complete sense.
The Chief Security Officer at a tech company is primarily concerned with keeping its information inside the company. Now working for an agency that tries to gather as much information as it can, Kelly's new job is sort of a complete reversal. Facebook, among other tech companies, has distanced itself from the government, claiming it only cooperates when it is legally required to.Read more
According to Der Spiegel, Germany's intelligence agency has a 100-million-euro plan to expand Internet surveillance. Meanwhile, the interior minister wants travelers to fill out a questionnaire before entering the EU. Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that the Federal Intelligence Service plans to expand its Internet surveillance program to cover 20 percent of all communications between Germany and foreign countries.
Because of technical limitations, the intelligence agency - known by its German acronym, BND - currently only monitors 5 percent of all Internet and telephone communication. However, according to German law, the BND can snoop on a maximum 20 percent of all communications traffic.Read more
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has slammed a recently exposed NSA mass-surveillance scheme as a "calamitous collapse in the rule of law." Google, Facebook and other tech giants apparently involved have denied giving the NSA access to their servers.
Assange accused the US government of trying to "launder" its activities concerning the large-scale spying program PRISM. The system was made public after a leaked classified National Security Agency (NSA) document was revealed earlier this week.
"The US administration has the phone records of everyone in the United States and is receiving them daily from carriers to the National Security Agency under secret agreements. That's what's come out," he said.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