In a ruling on federal phone-tracking this week a U.S. District Judge based in New York has ruled that the NSA’s actions thus far have been legal. Judge William Pauley sent a ruling on Friday, the 27th of December, saying the NSA program “represents the government’s counter-punch” in efforts to eliminate al-Qaida network efforts. This ruling dismisses a lawsuit brought on by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Edward Snowden has recorded this year's "Alternative Christmas Message" for Great Britain's Channel 4. The video is brief -- lasting just 1:43 -- with Snowden directly addressing "you and your family" about the state of mass surveillance and the reasons for why privacy matters now and in the future. We've transcribed the recording for your convenience below.
The United States Director of National Intelligence has publicly acknowledged -- for the first time -- the existence of National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance programs dating back to 2001. The admission comes by way of court documents filed in two separate cases involving the NSA. The documents were posted to the office's website this weekend.
The latest installment of the ongoing slow release of the whistleblower Edward Snowden's cache of 1.7 million stolen NSA documents has revealed over 1,000 targets of the NSA's and GCHQ's international spying efforts between 2008 and 2011. The targets include high-ranking officials in allied nations, economic regulatory bodies, humanitarian aid agencies, and -- seemingly as an afterthought -- individuals being watched for hypothesized ties to terrorism. These particular documents were reported Friday by the American newspaper New York Times, Britain's the Guardian and Germany's Der Spiegel.
Modern life is recorded on a million (give or take) surveillance cameras, and those who live in particularly large metropolitan locations are often under the watchful eye of cameras mounted all over the place -- on buildings, street posts, inside stores. You're not likely to notice many of them, and some people don't like that idea. That's where a concept wearable called the surveillance spaulder comes in.
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.
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.
Google's executive chairman Erc Schmidt has publicly rebuked the NSA over recent revelations the US spy agency has tapped the company's international data cables to conduct surveillance on hundreds of millions of people around the world, including most of the American Internet user base. He has registered formal complaints with the NSA and members of Congress. His statements turn up the heat on an ever-widening public sphere investigation of the NSA's digital mass spying activities.
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.