Items tagged with CIA

It was revealed several months ago that the U.S. Marshal Service secretly uses spy planes equipped with devices that mimic cell towers to scan for and harvest cellphone information on a mass scale. Now it's being reported that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) played a key role in helping the Justice Department develop the technology that's capable of scanning data from thousands of cellphones at a time.Let's back up a moment. As originally reported by a number of news outlets, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was clueless of the spy program that the Department of Justice (DoJ) won't... Read more...
Thanks to the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, we know that the United States government has in place a sophisticated and all-encompassing spying program, and as time goes on, additional details leak out that underscore how little privacy we truly have. Whether it's intercepting Skype communications or tampering with hard drives, the concept of privacy is fast becoming an illusion. So, would it really be surprising to find out that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been working for years to exploit Apple's iPhone and iPad devices?It's true, according to The Intercept, which claims... Read more...
An accountability board overseen by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) cleared the spy agency of any wrongdoing after investigating the search of Senate computers that were used to review the agency's alleged use of torture tactics during Bush's presidency period. That might be fine and dandy under different circumstance, but in this case, the review panel looking into the CIA's actions was put together by… the CIA. Conflict of interest, anyone? The board released a 38-page report in which it found that a handful of agency officials made a "mistake" by searching for files used by the Senate... Read more...
Even when the government conducts secret activities, those ventures have to be funded, and a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives last night took a swipe at the NSA’s domestic spying practices by cutting some of its funding. According to Ars Technica, Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) authored an amendment to a defense appropriations bill that “none of the funds made available by this Act may be used by an officer or employee of the United States to query a collection of foreign intelligence information acquired under section... Read more...
A new comprehensive writeup at The Intercept claims to reveal additional details of the NSA's plans to infiltrate and conquer the Internet -- as well as its desire to bring virtually all data, everywhere, within its reach. A year ago, this kind of claim would've sounded like hyperbolic conspiracy theory, but no longer. Whether the NSA could ever effectively analyze that information is very much an open question, but the organization has launched a huge number of programs to pursue these ends. Own The Web What The Intercept report details is the NSA's plan for infiltrating target networks, right... Read more...
The CIA is paying AT&T some $10 million a year for access to certain customer call data that includes international-to-international calls as well as some domestic-to-international calls, according to a New York Times report citing information from “government officials”. The CIA’s involvement is part of an overseas counterterrorism effort, and AT&T’s participation is voluntary. The way it works is that the CIA gives AT&T the phone numbers of foreign terrorism suspects, and then AT&T checks the numbers against its vast database (which includes calls handled... Read more...
During a speech to the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC on cybersecurity, former NSA and CIA chief Michael Hayden confessed that if whistleblower Edward Snowden is captured by the US and brought back for trial, cyber-attacks by his defenders can be expected. While I find it hard to agree with most of what Hayden says, it's hard to disagree with the fact that this could happen. Not long after activist Aaron Swartz' death a couple of months ago, Anonymous struck MIT's websites and the US Federal Reserve to help send a message. It seems reasonable to believe, then, that with a mega-case... Read more...
It's beginning to feel like we're unable to go even a single week without learning of a public official caught in an affair, but last week's discovery of the affair of CIA Director David Petraeus came as a shock for a couple of reasons. David wasn't some mere politician, but a decorated war hero who most recently sat at the helm of one of the United States' most important agencies. His decisions made things happen, and with that sort of power comes a lot of risk. It's since been discovered that it was Gmail that managed to expose the affair, proving that when you're an important asset to the government,... Read more...
Besides being a low-ranking Marvel Comics super-villain, Trapster is a free application that went live on the App Store last Friday, allowing users to share information real-time on speed traps.Besides the iPhone (naturally the highest-profile device in the bunch), the app runs on GPS devices like Garmin and TomTom, as well as on smartphones such including Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and Nokia S60 and N95 and other Java/J2ME phones.   How does it work? You click on button in the app or call a toll-free number to report a speed trap. Other user's phones will alert them as they approach the... Read more...
A new commercial PC game came out two days ago from a brand new game development and publishing company. The game is called CellZenith and the company is called Faramix Enterprises. What make this a unique story is not actually the game (full disclosure: we've not played the game, so we cannot comment intelligently about it), but the story behind the game's making and the genesis of the company... Credit: Faramix Enterprises Three young men in their twenties, from three different states, enrolled in the online bachelor's degree program for Game and Simulation Programming (GSP) with DeVry University.... Read more...
Social music networks are like college. You all meet up there for a while, make friends, maybe a few enemies, share all sorts of things, and then scatter to other places and make new friends. The overriding constant is that nobody has any money in either place. Social.FM, which until recently was known as Mercora, was launched in 2005, and on July 31st, shut happened. To our Valued Customers,We regret to inform you and apologize for this inconvenience, but Social.FM will be shutting down the system on July 31st, 2008.The Company is unfortunately no longer in business and therefore cannot continue... Read more...
In case you don't know, an upskirt photo is one taken surreptitiously by pointing a camera upwards and ... well, we're hoping you can figure it out on your own, as well as the analogous downblouse photo.For some reason, with the advent of high-resolution camera phones, the practice of upskirt and downblouse photos have become very popular in Japan.  According to freelancer Nobuyuki Hayashi, the iPhone omitted this "feature," - a silent shutter sound - possibly explaining its wild popularity in that country.  All right, all right, it's popular everywhere.  Sue us.At any rate, the... Read more...
Facebook and MySpace perform important functions for their users. But when you get right down to it, they exist and are popular because they are amusements. Serious business is not discussed on a page with glitter fonts and Linkin Park music videos that auto-play. There is a social site that's all business --LinkedIn-- and it's received an infusion of $53 million dollars from Bain Capital, who've valued the company overall at a cool $1 billion. Not bad for a site with no videos and hardly any pictures on it. LinkedIn gives professionals, even the most hopeless wallflower, a painless way to follow... Read more...
If there was any doubt that brainy women could be sexy too, this week's Newsweek article, Revenge of the Nerdette, should set naysayers straight. The article features a group of brilliant, confident, and attractive women who call themselves the Nerd Girls. Here's a snippet of self-promotion from their own Nerd Girl Web site: They're "Beauty and the Geek" all in one package! Meet the NERD GIRLS - an impressive team of female engineering students, just one year away from landing top jobs with $70,000 salaries. They turn heads when they enter a room - they're stylish, self-possessed, ambitious and... Read more...
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