Twitter has decided to stop work on a project to encrypt its users' direct messages. The project would have helped ensure user messages sent in private would remain that away, encrypted against both snooping governments and hackers. The project has reportedly been nixed indefinitely, though it is possible it could be finished in the future.
The latest Snowden-leaked information on the NSA arrived today by way of The Washington Post, where it detailed what is said to be a surveillance system capable of recording 100-percent of a country's telephone calls. Which country this is was not specified, though it is said to be a foreign nation.
WhatsApp founder Jan Koum has spoken out on concerns about privacy and data protection following its acquisition by Facebook, insisting that nothing will change in what individual information it collects and how it uses it. "If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn't have done it" Koum writes of the $19bn deal announced last month. "Instead, we are forming a partnership that would allow us to continue operating independently and autonomously."
The American Bar Association has been very concerned regarding the attorney-client communications and the sanctity of this privilege, particularly in light of the NSA surveillance debacle that got leaked to the world. The concerns stems from the recent revelations that NSA had allowed an Australian intelligence agency to tap into the communications between an Indonesian client and its American law firm.
Yesterday The Intercept posted a massive write up detailing an NSA project called TURBINE, which is said to involve the mass infection of millions of computers globally, as well the use of websites that impersonate legitimate services, such as Facebook. The NSA has fired back, denying the claims.
Recently, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) ordered the National Security Agency to destroy collected phone records after five years. That order did not sit well with many, and was quickly followed by a U.S. District Judge's temporary halting of the plans. Following this, the FISC has temporarily reversed its previous order.
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg called President Obama to complain about the US government presenting a threat to the internet, claiming to be "confused and frustrated" by the recent spying and surveillance scandals. "When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security" Zuckerberg wrote, "we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government."
"What's that you've got there?" the barista asks, tapping his chest. I don't need to look down to know what he means. "It's a lifelogger, it takes a picture every thirty seconds, every day" I tell him; I've got my reply down-pat by now, have explained dozens of times over the past few weeks. "At the end of the day it shows me the best ones." I half-tense myself for a frown, or a "you can't wear that in here," but he just smiles, tells me it's "cool" and makes me a latte. Not exactly another convert to the wearable cause, but another in a series of unprompted interactions that started when I fastened Narrative's Clip to my lapel.
The inventor of the world wide web has used the 25th anniversary of his creation to call for an online "bill of rights" to protect the internet's independence, with Sir Tim Berners-Lee highlighting worrying surveillance and net-neutrality trends as the basis for his fears. Describing his vision of a "global constitution" or online "Magna Carta", Berners-Lee described the web as he envisaged it a quarter of a century ago as under attack from businesses and governments that would co-opt it for their own purposes.