PRISM

PRISM fallout: EU votes to investigate US, threatens to cut data sharing

PRISM fallout: EU votes to investigate US, threatens to cut data sharing

Tensions between the US and Europe continue to escalate, after the EU voted to begin an "in-depth inquiry" into allegations that the NSA and other US security agencies bugged EU premises as well as regularly monitor the communications European citizens. The Civil Liberties Committee investigation - supported by 483 votes to 98 (with 65 abstentions) - sees the EU demand full details from the US on how, exactly, programs like PRISM affect EU member states, in addition to exploring greater protections for whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.

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Dump Google, Facebook and other US sites warns German security chief

Dump Google, Facebook and other US sites warns German security chief

'Stop using Google and Facebook' is the advice from Germany's highest security official, warning web users concerned about NSA monitoring to steer clear of anything that might pass through US services. "Whoever fears their communication is being intercepted in any way should use services that don't go through American servers" Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich cautioned today, the AP reports, the latest in escalating German concerns about the extent of US spying programs like PRISM

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Edward Snowden blasts Obama as Russian asylum request withdrawn

Edward Snowden blasts Obama as Russian asylum request withdrawn

PRISM whistleblower Edward Snowden has blasted the US government and President Obama for "deception" and trying to sabotage his right to asylum, as news breaks that the former NSA contractor has withdrawn his application for asylum in Russia. Snowden, who made headlines last month when he revealed confidential details on how the US security services monitor, collect, and analyze electronic communications, is believed to be in Russia after having petitioned for safe asylum there among 21 countries, and released a strong critique on how Obama's government has handled the furore. However, the BBC now reports, it seems Russia won't be Snowden's final destination.

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NSA faces potential German PRISM investigation after EU bugging claims

NSA faces potential German PRISM investigation after EU bugging claims

International tensions over the NSA's PRISM monitoring program continue to grow, with federal prosecutors in Germany revealing they are ramping up for a potential investigation into whether the US government has broken German law. The preliminary inquiries are to "achieve a reliable factual basis" on the extent of PRISM and similar programs harvesting electronic data on non-US citizens, the German Federal Prosecutors' Office confirmed this weekend. Meanwhile, at least one criminal complaint has been filed in Germany, in Hesse last week, with the Federal Prosecutors' Office warning that more were likely.

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US Army blocks whistleblower Guardian over PRISM

US Army blocks whistleblower Guardian over PRISM

The US Army has blocked access to the website of UK newspaper and PRISM whistleblower The Guardian, claiming security issues over leaked "classified information". Describing the move as "network hygiene" a spokesperson for the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM) confirmed the block to the Monterey Herald, after restricted access was spotted this week. "There are strict policies and directives in place regarding protecting and handling classified information" spokesman Gordon Van Vleet highlighted, with army security staff supposedly arguing that in fact the censorship is in the best interests of armed forces employees.

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Microsoft follows Google in demanding FISA disclosure permission

Microsoft follows Google in demanding FISA disclosure permission

Microsoft has demanded permission to disclose FISA security requests, following Google in aiming to publicize the frequency and extent of calls from the NSA and others to hand over user data. "Microsoft respectfully moves this court for an order, judgement, or other such relief as the court may deem appropriate declaring that Microsoft may lawfully disclose aggregate statistics concerning any orders and/or directives that Microsoft may have received under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and/or FISA Amendments Act" the company said in a motion [pdf link] filed on June 19.

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Skype supernode switch for stable scaling not Project Chess NSA spying

Skype supernode switch for stable scaling not Project Chess NSA spying

Skype's own hunt for stability, not clandestine aims for call tapping, forced the significant infrastructure changes that led to speculation Microsoft and the NSA were spying on VoIP, the company's principle architect has insisted. Matthew Kaufman, now a Microsoft employee following the VoIP company's acquisition, took to the IP mailing list to address concerns of NSA monitoring collaboration and the so-called "Project Chess" that was revealed earlier this month.

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Australia temporarily halts PRISM-like data collection plans

Australia temporarily halts PRISM-like data collection plans

There had always been a underbelly of belief that the government spies on Internet activity, Facebook statuses, and other such digital forms of communication. It all exploded out into the public eye, however, when Edward Snowden leaked information on a program called PRISM that collects vast quantities of information with little oversight and many provisions making domestic spying acceptable. Following soon after the program's revelation, Australia has put a temporary kibosh on its own domestic spying plans.

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EFF lays out NSA data collection issues with demand for investigation

EFF lays out NSA data collection issues with demand for investigation

Two new top-secret documents related to PRISM and NSA data collection were published yesterday by The Guardian. Detailed within the documents are various stipulations and requirements related to the data collection as it relates to US persons. On the surface, such information is mildly reassuring, but a thoughtful examination illuminates several red-flag issues, which the EFF has highlighted with a demand for an independent investigation into the matter.

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Two leaked top secret documents show NSA data collection playbook

Two leaked top secret documents show NSA data collection playbook

Amidst the myriad of PRISM and FISA-related data collection leaks, rumors, denouncements, and sources, it was mentioned that the security agency takes steps to avoid collecting any more information on US citizens than necessary, something that has been expounded on today with two leaked top-secret documents. The documents were sent to The Guardian, which published them whole.

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Skype Project Chess allegedly explored NSA access ahead of Microsoft buy

Skype Project Chess allegedly explored NSA access ahead of Microsoft buy

Skype allegedly developed a clandestine program dubbed Project Chass that investigated potential ways to increase government and law enforcement access to its VoIP calling service, years in advance of Microsoft's acquisition in 2011. Project Chess was formed while Skype had "sometimes contentious talks with the government over legal issues," insiders tell the NYTimes, with knowledge of the program limited to under a dozen within the firm.

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Apple denies PRISM backdoor: iMessage end-to-end encrypted

Apple denies PRISM backdoor: iMessage end-to-end encrypted

Apple has released a public statement on the NSA PRISM surveillance program, denying any backdoor server access for government agencies, and revealing just how many court orders for data disclosures it has seen in recent months. Between December 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013, Apple received as many as 5,000 requests from US law enforcement for data on Apple customers, the Cupertino firm said, covering between 9,000 and 10,000 accounts or devices. However, Apple points out, the most frequent reason wasn't counterterrorism, as you might expect.

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