People sending email to any of Google's 425 million Gmail users have no "reasonable expectation" that their communications are confidential, the internet giant has said in a court filing.
Consumer Watchdog, the advocacy group that uncovered the filing, called the revelation a "stunning admission." It comes as Google and its peers are under pressure to explain their role in the National Security Agency's (NSA) mass surveillance of US citizens and foreign nationals. "Google has finally admitted they don't respect privacy," said John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's privacy project director.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
Mobile phone theft is a huge problem in Russia, just as it is in the United States. But while police chiefs and attorneys general in America are demanding phone manufacturers take action, the Moscow police department is employing a different tactic: Tracking the movements of every single person with a cellphone who enters the city’s subway system.
According to Russian newspaper Izvestia, Moscow police are moving forward with a plan to blanket the city’s subway system with SIM card readers capable of identifying each passenger by their phone number from up to 5 meters away. When a phone containing a stolen SIM card is detected, the new security system will alert police and begin tracking its movement.Read more
It is possible with the help of "Back up my data" in a mobile operating system. The co-worker of the “Elecontric Frontier Foundation” Micah Lee announced that the function "Back up my data" in OS Android sends passwords from Wi-Fi and private information in plaintext to Google.
"Since backup and restore is such a useful feature, and since it's turned on by default, it's likely that the vast majority of Android users are syncing this data with their Google accounts. Because Android is so popular, it's likely that Google has plaintext Wi-Fi passwords for the majority of users,” Lee pointed out.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
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