In our post-Snowden world, concerns about privacy are at an all-time high and tech companies have been caught in the cross-fire. Since the NSA leaks began, big-name companies have been making big changes, among them being a decision to inform users of data requests when possible.
Post-NSA secrecy, many big tech companies like Google were outspoken about the practices used by the NSA to gather info. Since that time, they’ve gone on the offensive, trying to both challenge the NSA and distance themselves from it. New emails obtained by news outlet Al Jazeera show a prior relationship between top Google executives and various NSA chiefs was in place.
Post Edward Snowden and the revelations of widespread NSA intrusion, many larger tech companies have been as forthcoming as possible about what information they’re giving to authorities. In anticipation of reform bills for how and why the NSA does what they do (as well as those currently in process), The White House is asking that any legislation include language to keep tech companies safeguarded from prosecution.
It would appear that Kim Dotcom does not trust United States-made electronics. He suggests this week that the world should "never trust US tech", using #NSA to point out a Cisco listing of lawful intercept architecture. He calls these systems "interception backdoors", suggesting that Cisco is amongst the companies that willingly allow the NSA to take hold of their data at any given time - but that's just not true.
Potentially catastrophic internet security exploits like Heartbleed should be publicized rather than covertly used for surveillance, President Obama has reportedly told the NSA and other intelligence divisions, although exceptions to the rule will still see the US rely on loopholes for its spying and monitoring. Heartbleed pitched the National Security Agency back into the headlines on Friday, after anonymous sources claimed it had discovered the OpenSSL flaw at least two years ago, but opted to keep it secret so as to use it for stealing passwords and other data.
The NSA has denied knowledge of the Heartbleed bug, following allegations that not only did the security agency discover the exploit two years ago, but that it opted to keep it secret so as to use it in its spy tool arsenal. Anonymous insiders claimed earlier that the National Security Agency had identified Heartbleed - which left as many as two-thirds of websites vulnerable to password and data theft - as part of its regular efforts at hunting down potentially useful bugs and hacks.
The second wave of Facebook’s sharing of Government Request data comes this week in short form. Facebook is one of a collection of groups to have begun showing off what they’re able in government data requests since the age of the NSA spill came to fruition last year.