PRISM

NSA unlawfully stored 56,000 US emails a year, 2011 court ruling reveals

NSA unlawfully stored 56,000 US emails a year, 2011 court ruling reveals

The NSA's PRISM program unlawfully gathered "tens of thousands" of emails and other communications in a surveillance sweep described as "fundamentally different" to what courts had approved, according to a newly-declassified FISA court opinion. The 2011 ruling by John D. Bates, chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court responsible for green-lighting monitoring, slammed the National Security Agency for misleading on what, exactly, it was collecting, the Washington Post reports, after the Electronic Frontier Foundation petitioned to have the document released.

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Lavabit and Silent Circle are dead: encrypted email alternatives still active

Lavabit and Silent Circle are dead: encrypted email alternatives still active

Thursday of this week there was a bit of a one-two punch in effect as NSA leakster Edward Snowden announced first that encrypted email service Lavabit would shut down, followed closely by a similar announcement by Silent Circle. While Lavabit shut down in what very much appeared to be a government-pressured incident, Silent Circle made clear that they'd be cutting service before any said incident was allowed to happen. So what's left for encrypted email services?

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Silent Circle shuts down Mail service following Lavabit to avoid government hassle

Silent Circle shuts down Mail service following Lavabit to avoid government hassle

Earlier this evening, secure email service provider Lavabit announced without warning that it was shutting its doors, doing so after having spent several weeks in a legal battle it wasn't authorized to talk about. Following this, a similar service called Silent Circle has announced that it will be shutting down its email service, doing so to get a jump on any government or law enforcement issues that could end up coming its way.

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Lavabit email service of Edward Snowden fame closed down for reasons under gag order

Lavabit email service of Edward Snowden fame closed down for reasons under gag order

Lavabit is (was) a secure email service that became a figure in the public eye following details that Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor and PRISM leaker, used the service. Unfortunately for users of the service, Lavabit's founder and operator Ladar Levison announced today that the service has been shut down following a behind-the-scenes legal issue that he is not allowed to discuss.

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NSA director gives PRISM primer in tense Black Hat keynote

NSA director gives PRISM primer in tense Black Hat keynote

Only a handful of National Security Agency staff have the power to run checks on the US phone records list, NSA director Keith Alexander claimed today at the Black Hat keynote, facing an at-times vocal crowd at the annual security conference. Attempting to challenge widespread assumptions that the NSA has carte-blanche by the courts to monitor, phone-tap, and generally carry out intrusive surveillance against anybody they wish, General Alexander said he had first hand experience of how reluctant to grant approval the courts could actually be, describing the process as "wire brushings".

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