politics

Google seeing more government requests than ever before

Google seeing more government requests than ever before

Google released their latest Transparency Report today. This marks the eighth such report, with the seventh having come back in late-April. That last report brought mention of a record high number of government requests and this time around the report is arriving with a similar description. Details coming from Google point towards how "requests from governments for user information have increased by more than 100 percent." That is, from when Google began sharing these bi-annual reports in 2010.

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GCHQ hacked GRX and OPEC employees via Quantum inserts, Snowden papers show

GCHQ hacked GRX and OPEC employees via Quantum inserts, Snowden papers show

A new analysis of the Snowden papers by German magazine Der Spiegel shows GCHQ--the English counterpart to the US's NSA--served false copies of LinkedIn and Slashdot pages to install malware on a few target individuals' computers. This latest revelation is not a mass spying program, but a server-heavy, speed-dependent initiative to spy on key individuals deemed to be assets by the GCHQ. Targets included employees of GRX providers Comfon, Mach (now owned by Syniverse), and nine members of OPEC, the global oil cartel.

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Twitter hosts political rappartee between White House and opponents

Twitter hosts political rappartee between White House and opponents

The Obama administration has been increasingly using Twitter as a way to shape news stories and public debate, often going so far as to eschew traditional channels like press releases and news conferences in favor of the social microblogging network, Reuters reports. Characterizing the White House's Twitter activity as an "army" waging "wars" with conservatives and other Obama opponents, the report points to the administration's embrace of Twitter as a public debate sphere.

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NSA directorship to go civilian, report asserts

NSA directorship to go civilian, report asserts

The NSA directorship might revert from a military to a civilian post, The Hill has reported. The Pentagon "has already drawn up a list of possible civilian candidates for the next NSA director," the report said, although "no formal decision has been made yet." The NSA directorship would relinquish authority over Cyber Command, and a separate military officer would be appointed to Cyber Command. If the report is correct, the change would represent a planet-shaking change at the NSA, which since 1971 by law has been directed by military officers.

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GCHQ, European spy agencies conduct mass surveillance via telecoms

GCHQ, European spy agencies conduct mass surveillance via telecoms

The latest revelation to come out of the famous Snowden papers is that England and mainland Europe all spy on citizens in the same way the NSA does. According to yet another new analysis of the papers--this time by England's The Guardian--spy agencies in multiple nations collaborate with privately run telecommunications companies to gather data on private citizens on a mass scale.

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Bitcoin cash turns over a fortune due to forgetfulness

Bitcoin cash turns over a fortune due to forgetfulness

Kristoffer Koch of Norway spent $27 on 5,000 Bitcoins in 2009 as research for a paper he was writing about data encryption. He turned in the paper and promptly forgot about the purchase. Four years later, Koch noticed Bitcoin making headlines as it peaked at $266 per Bitcoin. He logged in to his Bitcoin wallet and his life changed in an instant. His small, academically motivated purchase was now worth $886,000, for a beautiful 3.28 million percent return on investment.

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Syrian Electronic Army hacks President Obama’s websites, social media

Syrian Electronic Army hacks President Obama’s websites, social media

The Syrian Electronic Army hacked US President Barack Obama's nonprofit website Organizing for Action last night, sending reverberations throughout the President's social media presence. The SEA proceeded to hack into the President's campaign website as well as OFA's custom URL shortener. It then began posting pro-SEA URL redirects to the President's Twitter and Facebook accounts, among other politically motivated mischief. As of this afternoon, most of the fallout has been cleaned up.

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Qualcomm’s CMO Anand Chandrasekher reassigned, censured following A7 “gimmick” lambasting

Qualcomm’s CMO Anand Chandrasekher reassigned, censured following A7 “gimmick” lambasting

Qualcomm's outspoken Chief Marketing Officer Anand "Things That Are Dumb" Chandrasekher has been demoted, in a way, after stating that Apple's 64-bit system-on-a-chip, the A7, is a "gimmick." He wasn't fired, just reassigned, but he is no longer listed as being on the leadership team on the Qualcomm website, and the company has publicly censured Chandrasekher. The reasons for Chandrasekher's criticism and for Qualcomm's ensuing response are of both a technical and a political nature.

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NSA, SOPA, CISPA, PATRIOT Act under fire at rally in Washington, D.C.

NSA, SOPA, CISPA, PATRIOT Act under fire at rally in Washington, D.C.

An organized crowd of protesters numbering more than a thousand have convened outside the U.S. Capitol in protest of mass surveillance programs by American spy apparatuses. The rally, which was organized by Stop Watching Us, focuses largely on Internet data gathering efforts by the NSA and other agencies. It is supported by Edward Snowden, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and hundreds of other technological privacy advocates.

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Google Project Shield protects “free expression” sites hit by DDoS

Google Project Shield protects “free expression” sites hit by DDoS

Before you ask: this Google's Project Shield has nothing to do with NVIDIA SHIELD, the two being completely different elements - the Google iteration is all about protecting sites that'd otherwise have little to no protection. Google Project Shield makes with the barrier around a website to stop DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks to keep sites active. This project has been used to keep up all manner of sites that - before this project - had been taken down by the likes of governments and unfriendly hacker groups.

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