PRISM

Google boosts encryption efforts as NSA snoop saga worsens

Google boosts encryption efforts as NSA snoop saga worsens

Google is accelerating efforts to toughen its data encryption, the company has revealed, aiming to curtail unofficial snooping on user information in the aftermath of NSA PRISM controversy. "It's an arms race" Eric Grosse, vice president for security engineering at Google, told the Washington Post, describing government-mandated hackers as "the most skilled players in this game" and insisting that as "a point of personal honor" the search giant would not do anything to ease NSA intrusion into its servers.

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Google and Microsoft sue US government over FISA transparency

Google and Microsoft sue US government over FISA transparency

Google and Microsoft have sued the US government for the freedom to disclose FISA data surveillance requests, after demands from the two companies to reveal to users when the NSA requests information went unmet. "We believe we have a clear right under the U.S. Constitution to share more information with the public" Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel and executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs, wrote today, describing how while Google and Microsoft may often be seen as enemies, "today our two companies stand together."

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NSA has super secret hacker collective according to newly revealed Snowden docs

NSA has super secret hacker collective according to newly revealed Snowden docs

A new batch of government documents pilfered by Edward Snowden, who is now living in Russia, were made known by The Washington Post today, one that showed a detailed budget and hinted at encryption decoding efforts by the NSA. A different one, however, had another interesting thing to bring to light: the NSA has a super secret collective of hackers.

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NSA paid millions to Google, Facebook for PRISM participation

NSA paid millions to Google, Facebook for PRISM participation

More information was revealed today about how the National Security Agency (NSA) obtained information about U.S. private citizens. According to The Washington Post, leaked court documents show that the NSA paid tech companies like Google and Facebook millions of dollars to participate in their PRISM surveillance program.

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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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XKeyscore NSA tool uncovered, collects pretty much the whole internet

XKeyscore NSA tool uncovered, collects pretty much the whole internet

Just as we thought we knew everything about the government spying on us, another leak has made its way into the limelight that reveals a new program, besides PRISM, that collects a ton of information about users on the internet, including email, Facebook chats, and web browsing history.

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Federal agents reportedly demanding passwords from websites

Federal agents reportedly demanding passwords from websites

Right when you thought this whole NSA and PRISM debacle was just slightly slowing down a bit, things are picking back up, thanks to a new report. According to multiple anonymous sources, it's said that federal government officials are demanding websites to hand over user passwords in order to monitor individual users even more.

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Google Drive encryption tipped incoming for NSA protection

Google Drive encryption tipped incoming for NSA protection

With the recent fiasco with the NSA and PRISM program, concern for user privacy has skyrocketed tremendously, and now that the word is out on tech companies, they have no choice but to make things better for their users. Google is doing its part, and it's said that the search giant is secretly testing encryption methods for Google Drive files for protection against the NSA.

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