nsa

Tech industry presents unified privacy front to White House

Tech industry presents unified privacy front to White House

A veritable pantheon of top-ranking emissaries from some of the largest and most powerful tech companies in the United States descended on the White House today to press the Obama administration to move aggressively on reforming the NSA's nearly universal surveillance of US citizens and the world. Their message was clear: Stop the spy agency from forcibly or stealthily seizing and storing bulk data about their customers. The message comes during an ongoing firestorm of public opposition to the agency's bulk data collection programs, ignited and continually stoked by the revelation of Edward Snowden's cache of an estimated 1.7 million stolen NSA documents detailing its ongoing quest for data omniscience.

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NSA phone data-tapping ruled unconstitutional by federal judge

NSA phone data-tapping ruled unconstitutional by federal judge

This week in Washington a district judge by the name of Richard Leon has ruled that the NSA's data collection program on phone call data collection is unconstitutional. This ruling came amid a court case which had two American citizens filing suit against the National Security Administration to stop any and all data collection programs. The case was originally filed the day after Edward Snowden's avalanche of NSA leaks began to be revealed for the first time.

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Snowden sitting on 1.5 million more documents, NSA estimates

Snowden sitting on 1.5 million more documents, NSA estimates

And now for your weekend Snowden update. Edward Snowden, as you may know if you haven't been living in Plato's cave, is the 30-year-old former NSA employee who stole and leaked "thousands" of documents revealing some of the incredible extent to which the NSA and other international spy agencies go to spy on Americans, Chinese, Germans, and the rest of the world. Last month the NSA said Snowden had leaked 200,000 documents to journalists. Now we're hearing estimates from the NSA itself that Snowden is sitting on 1.5 million additional documents -- but the agency admits even that figure is more-or-less a shot-in-the-dark.

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Pension fund sues IBM for torpedoing China sales with NSA spy program

Pension fund sues IBM for torpedoing China sales with NSA spy program

A pension fund has sued IBM for $12.9 billion in revenue losses caused by the recent revelation of its partnership with the US Congress and the NSA to spy on Chinese customers. Many of China's companies pulled out of business arrangements with IBM after it became known that IBM was using its technology to collect customer information for the NSA. The suit cites IBM's open lobbying effort to persuade Congress to pass the bill allowing the spying program known as Prism.

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MetaPhone Stanford University crowdsourced project shows NSA’s three-hop reach

MetaPhone Stanford University crowdsourced project shows NSA’s three-hop reach

The NSA, through means by which the average citizen cannot tread, has been collecting vast amounts of phone metadata that is intended to help locate and track terrorists and related activity. Though not always keeping up to standard, what the NSA does is not illegal and has been the subject of intense criticism across the globe. In response, Stanford University launched a crowdsourced project to prove the extent of information that can be revealed through the collection of metadata, and using this information has posted a lengthy write up on the three-hops procedure.

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FBI webcam spying turned on: no red light required

FBI webcam spying turned on: no red light required

This week a former assistant director of the FBI's Operational Technology Division has spoken up on a single case which has subsequently revealed a lot of pointed spying abilities of the institution itself. Speaking up on terror suspect "Mo", Marcus Thomas has let it be known that they've been able to break into (some) computers for years, able to turn on their webcams remotely, and that they're able to do this without triggering the webcam's red light. In other words, they're able to see through a computer's webcam without the computer's owner knowing.

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NSA tracking “billions” of cellphone locations

NSA tracking “billions” of cellphone locations

The NSA is using billions of cellphone location records every day to track potential suspects worldwide, according to the latest leaks from government agency data, including the movements of US citizens despite not specifically going out of its way to collect them. "We are getting vast volumes" of information on cellphone location - amounting to records for hundreds of millions of individual devices - an NSA senior collection manager confirmed to The Washington Post, pointing to the agency's taps on international data cables that form the physical backbone of cellular networks.

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Microsoft reportedly boosting security efforts in light of suspected NSA spying

Microsoft reportedly boosting security efforts in light of suspected NSA spying

Earlier today, sources spoke to The New York Times about a suspected tapping of fiber optic cables as the means by which the NSA managed to gather vast amounts of Internet data. Following this, sources -- which may or may not be related to the NYT's sources -- told the Washington Post that Microsoft is rapidly boosting its encryption plans in light of concern that the NSA could be intercepting its traffic.

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NSA tapping fiber-optics for Google and Yahoo data suggest insiders

NSA tapping fiber-optics for Google and Yahoo data suggest insiders

Fiber-optic cable taps, not clandestine agreements with big cloud data users like Google and Yahoo, may have given the NSA its treasure-trove access to internet traffic, insiders suspect, with the government agency potentially targeting interconnects rather than data centers themselves. While data centers are heavily secured, the fiber-optic cable links between them are traditionally unencrypted, sources familiar with Google and Yahoo infrastructure told the NYTimes, fingering Level 3 Communications as the most likely target for NSA attention.

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NSA hackers compromised at least 50,000 networks in 14 years

NSA hackers compromised at least 50,000 networks in 14 years

A large team of NSA hackers known collectively as the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) department successfully hacked 50,000 computer networks between the years 1998 and 2012, according to a new examination of the Snowden documents. A PowerPoint presentation seen this week by Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad revealed the statistic along with other information about the agency's Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) activities.

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