Items tagged with NSA

In a lot of ways, the public is resigned to the fact that almost nothing is truly "private." We're given identification numbers from birth, nearly everything about us is volunteered online, and even our mobile devices have GPS modules in them. In a lot of ways, those things are worth the hassle, and worth giving up... Read more...
Even when the government conducts secret activities, those ventures have to be funded, and a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives last night took a swipe at the NSA’s domestic spying practices by cutting some of its funding. According to Ars Technica, Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Zoe Lofgren... Read more...
Ever since 9/11 and the passage of the Patriot Act, the federal government has pursued an aggressive set of data collection policies and surveillance practices. Edward Snowden's leaks last year may have raised public awareness of many of these events, but simply being aware of practices doesn't do a thing to stop them. Recent court decisions,... Read more...
When it comes to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, opinions vary, with some people viewing him a traitor to the U.S. and others viewing him as a hero for shining a light on the shadowy practices of the government. Former vice president Al Gore is on record with his take on Snowden, and although he wouldn’t... Read more...
Facebook rolled out a new mobile feature that uses your device’s microphone to “hear” a song you’re listening to or a TV show you’re watching so you can append that item to a status post. Predictably, a lot of people believe that this is a feature designed for snooping and are not happy... Read more...
Last week, the ACLU was scheduled to meet with local police in Sarasota Florida to discuss the use of cell phone interception towers, dubbed stingrays, that are an increasingly common feature of federal and local investigations. A stingray is a fake cell phone tower that law enforcement can configure to temporarily... Read more...
One of the most troubling facts that came out of Edward Snowden's disclosures last year was the degree to which the government has relied on National Security Letters to compel companies to reveal information about their clients without producing a warrant. Many NSLs were accompanied by non-disclosure orders that... Read more...
From Apple to Yahoo, tech companies have a great deal of our data in their hands, and thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden, we know that the government wants as much of it as possible--and has been too successful in that regard. In some cases, there’s just nothing much a company can do when the NSA comes... Read more...
Earlier this week, Apple released an updated set of legal guidelines spelling out exactly what it can and cannot access on your iDevice, what material it will turn over to the police, and under which circumstances it will surrender it. What's particularly interesting is the split response we've seen from different... Read more...
As Seth covered earlier today, Bloomberg has accused the NSA of benefiting from the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug. The NSA denies this in fairly strong terms. I'd like to draw attention to a different facet of the topic -- first, by discussing the semantics of the NSA's denial and then the wider impact of how that denial is... Read more...
The news of two truly horrible security breaches broke this year; one was the NSA’s shadowy data grabbing and surveillance program, and the other was the Heartbleed bug that left about two-thirds of the Internet utterly exposed to any bad actor. According to a Bloomberg report, these two stories have merged, as “two people familiar... Read more...
As both the general public and CEOs of Internet companies seethe in the wake of NSA spying allegations, some researchers at MIT are working on a tool called Mylar that they claim would essentially spy-proof web applications. The pain point, according to the team, is the server. Every web application relies on servers for processing and storing... Read more...
For all the ire the NSA’s spying practices have fomented among users and Internet companies alike, the revelations are prompting some positive changes. For Gmail users, those changes are coming in the form of better encryption on Google’s part. Although it’s been the default option since 2010, Google... Read more...
Google has had enough of government surveillance. The search giant has been encrypting web searches in China to more effectively circumvent the government’s sensors, and that encrypting is rolling out globally, too. Within months, all Google searches made over a modern browser will be encrypted. Make no mistake... Read more...
A new comprehensive writeup at The Intercept claims to reveal additional details of the NSA's plans to infiltrate and conquer the Internet -- as well as its desire to bring virtually all data, everywhere, within its reach. A year ago, this kind of claim would've sounded like hyperbolic conspiracy theory, but no... Read more...
It's with panels like Glenn Greenwald's that makes me regret not making it down to the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. At this particular event, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was broadcast from Russia to answer a number of questions that Twitter users had for him, and in the end, one of the biggest things to take... Read more...
The numbers from Pinterest’s data request transparency report are either impressive or laughable, depending on your point of view. Although the tech industry is rising up in force in reaction against the NSA’s spying tactics and forceful and shadowy means of “requesting” data from major... Read more...
The United States Government has filed a lawsuit against Sprint Communications requesting triple damages to the tune of $63M. Sprint's crime? Overcharging the NSA, FBI, and various other government agencies for the cost of spying on millions of Americans and turning their data over to the government. This is another... Read more...
If you’ve ever wondered how exactly NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was able to access as much as he did, it’s apparently because he had help. According to an L.A. Times report, at least three other NSA workers helped him--wittingly or not. An NSA memo says that one of the three was an active-duty... Read more...
It didn't take long after NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden revealed his employer's nefarious deeds for other nations to begin reevaluating how they go about working with the US. As a side-effect, some now wonder if the US has a little too much influence on certain matters that affect the entire world, such as with... Read more...
Last summer, and not too long after Edward Snowden exposed the extent of NSA's spying tactics, The Guardian newspaper in the UK was forced to destroy all of the data that had been provided to it. At the time, I don't remember this news gaining much traction, but it's an important blip on the timeline to note. No... Read more...
You'd have to imagine that the birds in Angry Birds are some of the angriest around, but last night, a "friend" of the hacking group Syrian Electronic Army saw it fit to add to their angst. For an undetermined amount of time, an image was plastered on the main Angry Birds site that changed the name to "Spying Birds"... Read more...
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