DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine, served over 1bn searches in 2013 after a huge surge in interest following the Snowden revelations. Until Edward Snowden's files detailing the extent of state surveillance, the search engine received around 1.5m queries per day. But in the weeks and months following the Guardian's publication of the NSA files, the number of users more than doubled.
By November, more than 4 million people were using the site every day, and on Tuesday 7 January the site had its biggest day so far, serving 4,452,957 queries in a 24-hour period. "Needless to say, it was a great year for us," DuckDuckGo said in a blogpost. "We're looking forward to similar greatness in 2014.Read more
Since the first of many leaked documents showed that the NSA has been gathering phone records as part of its anti-terrorism program, there's been an ongoing fight over just what these records reveal.
To supporters, the metadata collection is a limited system that's rarely queried and doesn't contain enough information to be considered an invasive search: the NSA has said it doesn't collect either the content of calls or the names attached to phone numbers.
As many technology and legal experts on the other side say, though, metadata matters, and a Stanford Security Lab project demonstrates that removing names from a database doesn't effectively mean much.Read more
Over 2 million passwords for popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as Google and Yahoo accounts have been stolen and posted online, with Russian social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki also featuring on the hitlist.
Internet security firm Trustwave exposed the extensive data hoard, saying in its blog that the responsible botnet – dubbed Pony – had harvested information from thousands of vulnerable computers on a global scale.
The information included login credentials, email addresses and passwords. In total, 1,580,000 website login credentials were stolen, alongside 320,000 email and 41,000 FTP accounts.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
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
Google was sentenced to disclose to the FBI users' data without a court warrant first. The decision on the case of Google, which tried to challenge the demands of the deadly Bureau, was issued by an American federal court. The hearing was held behind the closed doors.Google officials tried to challenge the FBI's demands.
The court considered 19 requests from the FBI which contradict the American constitution. However, the court decided Google must execute 17 demands and demands for additional information on two more users. The court left for Google to challenge individual queries if the company finds formal infringements. The lawsuit does not end there: Google intends to appeal the decision, and the FBI threatened to proceed against the company for failure to cooperate with investigations.Read more