Switzerland will most likely guarantee safety to National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, if he comes to testify against the NSA’s spying activities, Swiss media said.
In the document, titled “What rules are to be followed if Edward Snowden is brought to Switzerland and then the United States makes an extradition request,” Switzerland’s Attorney General stated that Snowden could be guaranteed safety if he arrives in the country to testify, Sonntags Zeitung reported. In the document, the authority said that Switzerland does not extradite a US citizen, if the individual’s “actions constitute a political offense, or if the request has been politically motivated,” Swiss ATS news agency reported.Read more
The US National Security Agency (NSA) shares vast amounts of communications data with the country’s government agencies using a search engine similar to Google.
NSA’s search tool, called ICREACH, makes “more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations and internet chats” available to nearly two dozen US government agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Intercept reported on Tuesday citing classified documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.Read more
A major insight into human behavior from pre-internet era studies of communication is the tendency of people not to speak up about policy issues in public—or among their family, friends, and work colleagues—when they believe their own point of view is not widely shared. This tendency is called the “spiral of silence”.
Some social media creators and supporters have hoped that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter might produce different enough discussion venues that those with minority views might feel freer to express their opinions, thus broadening public discourse and adding new perspectives to everyday discussion of political issues.Read more
NSA project called MonsterMind that would give the agency control of all internet traffic entering the US, the ability to detect and block attacks in progress, and potentially, some day, the power to autonomously launch retaliatory strikes without human intervention.
Snowden says that the program is currently in development, but he gave no information on when or even if it might be deployed. If MonsterMind does become reality, it would encompass even greater US control over the internet than that which now exists, as well as ever more trampling on Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search.Read more
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden dropped his two cents on file storage security in an interview with The Guardian on Thursday.
He thinks Dropbox, the cloud storage firm with over 200 million users, is “hostile to privacy,” and urged people to switch to what he calls more-secure storage services like SpiderOak. “Dropbox is a targeted wannabe PRISM partner,” Snowden told The Guardian. “They just put Condoleezza Rice on their board, who is probably the most anti-privacy official you can imagine … So they’re very hostile to privacy.” Snowden said that a company like SpiderOak is better because it offers “zero knowledge,” a term used to describe services that have zero access to the data they are storing on their servers.Read more
The latest Edward Snowden leaks reveal that the NSA intercepts millions of images from the internet per day for use in its facial recognition program.
According to James Risen and Laura Poitras, it's unclear how many people around the world — or how many Americans — are subject to the image surveillance, but tens of thousands of "facial-recognition quality images" are collected each day. The agency intercepts "millions of images per day" — including about 55,000 "facial recognition quality images" — which translate into "tremendous untapped potential," according to 2011 documents obtained from the former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden.Read more
Cisco’s chief executive has written to President Barack Obama warning of a collapse of trust in US technology after evidence emerged showing the National Security Agency breaking into his company’s equipment.
In a letter John Chambers called for “standards of conduct” to rein in government surveillance so that national security objectives do not interfere with the US’s leading position in the global technology market. The letter was dated the day after pictures circulated on the internet showing NSA staff opening boxes of Cisco gear so that the US security agency can monitor internet traffic after the equipment has been shipped to customers. Mr Chambers complained that the NSA actions would undermine confidence among customers of US technology firms.Read more
The British government claims that the purpose of surveillance is to display the online trends in cities around the world.
According to Edward Snowden British authorities spy on what people are doing on some of the world’s most popular social media sites, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter etc. Nevertheless, he denies spying on specific users. The latest information from the National Security Agency was obtained by NBC News with journalist Glenn Greenwald, who was the first to report on Snowden’s documents about NSA and United Kingdom espionage while on the staff of the Guardian. NBC doesn’t mention when the information was received.Read more
Is telephone metadata sensitive? The debate has taken on new urgency since last summer’s NSA revelations; all three branches of the federal government are now considering curbs on access.
Consumer privacy concerns are also salient, as the FCC assesses telecom data sharing practices.
President Obama has emphasized that the NSA is “not looking at content.” “[T]his is just metadata,” Senator Feinstein told reporters. In dismissing the ACLU’s legal challenge, Judge Pauley shrugged off possible sensitive inferences as a “parade of horribles.” On the other side, a number of computer scientists have expressed concern over the privacy risks posed by metadata.Read more
In response to Edward Snowden’s mass surveillance revelations, Google is working to make complex encryption tools, such as PGP, easier to use in Gmail. PGP, or Pretty Good Privacy, is an encryption utility that historically has been difficult to break. But Google has “research underway to improve the usability of PGP with Gmail,” according to a person at the company familiar with the matter.
VentureBeat’s source at Google acknowledged that “end-to-end encryption is the best defense for message protection, though it comes at considerable cost in functionality.” PGP is currently compatible with Google’s Gmail service, although it’s widely regarded as unapproachable to a majority of Internet users — like the Tor project.Read more