Items tagged with Prism

The Edward Snowden revelations have faded a bit from public view in light of other, more recent political activities, but a new report regarding the NSA and Yahoo has people talking about it once more. Reportedly, the United States government threatened to fine Yahoo a quarter of a million dollars <i>per day</i> in 2008 "if it failed to comply with a broad demand to hand over user communications." Yahoo's stance was that doing so would violate the U.S. constitution, but that didn't stop the feds from pressuring with such staggering fines to comply with its PRISM program. Unsealed documents... 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 United States Government has filed a lawsuit against Sprint Communications requesting triple damages to the tune of $63M. Sprint's crime? Overcharging the NSA, FBI, and various other government agencies for the cost of spying on millions of Americans and turning their data over to the government. This is another "unintended consequence" of the Snowden revelations last year, though likely not one anyone anticipated. In the past, the government would've had no choice but to conduct this kind of action behind the tightest of closed doors, lest secrets leak that would reveal to the American people... Read more...
Microsoft's onetime Chief Privacy Advisor, Caspar Bowden, has come out with a vote of no-confidence in the company's long-term privacy measures and ability or interest to secure user data in the wake of the NSA's PRISM program. From 2002 - 2011, Bowden was in charge of privacy at Microsoft, and oversaw the company's efforts in that area in more than 40 countries, but claims to have been unaware of the PRISM program's existence while he worked at the company. In the two years since leaving Microsoft, Bowden has ceased carrying a cell phone and become a staunch open source user, claiming that he... Read more...
Yahoo, new logo and all, it turning over a new leaf when it comes to privacy, reporting, and what the public is allowed to know. In the wake of the NSA / PRISM scandal, which is honestly still ongoing, Yahoo has followed Facebook in issuing a public transparency report. Facebook did likewise last month, and now Yahoo has published the company's first global transparency report, which details government data requests from January 1, 2013 through June 30, 2013. As you might expect, the report includes national security requests. Here's the bottom line from Yahoo: "For each country in this Transparency... Read more...
Sir Walter Scott warned long about about weaving a tangled web through deception, but apparently the Department of Justice (DoJ) and National Security Agency (NSA) aren't fans of old poetry. If they were, they'd drop the secrecy behind the PRISM program that whistleblower Edward Snowden blew wide open earlier this year. The truth eventually comes out anyway, as it did with Google's reluctant participation in PRISM. Google wants to offer its users transparency about what's going on, but its hands are tied after the DoJ won a court ruling to keep the search giant from talking about federal demands... Read more...
One of the contentious issues that's swirled around the NSA since whistleblower Edward Snowden began leaking information on the organization's capabilities is exactly what it can -- or can't -- do. Snowden has stated that as a contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton, "I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President if I had a personal email." The NSA has strongly denied these claims,  arguing that it had neither the technological capability to engage in such monitoring nor the authority to do so. The... Read more...
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between someone being stupid and being evil. According to Justin Elliott of ProPublica, writing in the Huffington Post, the NSA responded to his freedom of information request with a stonewall. Elliott said he was asking for emails between NSA employees and the National Geographic Channel within a certain time period so he could research how the NSA handles public relations. He said that NSA Freedom of Information Act officer Cindy Blacker told him: "There's no central method to search an email at this time with the way our records are set up, unfortunately,”... Read more...
Things are getting a little hairy on the wild, wild Internet. With privacy fears at an all-time high and the whole Snowden episode stirring up worries that governments can easily convince companies to hand out just about any digital information in the world, the mere notion of whimsically cruising the Internet is becoming a little frightening for some. Now, a NYT report is shedding light on two Italian hackers who spend their days sifting through code in software used by hundreds of millions of people. Why? Because governments all over the globe are evidently willing to pay top-dollar to know about... Read more...
It’s deeply disconcerting, to say the least, that the NSA has been able to extract data about U.S. citizens from Internet companies using the secret (until recently) PRISM program. Because all of those companies likely handle data a little differently, it’s hard to say how much information the government is able to extract from email records, but a tool called “Immersion”, developed by MIT, shows you what your Gmail account can say about you. Immersion uses the same data that the government would have access to if it requested it from Google; it’s metadata, which includes... Read more...
I'm not sure we needed another example of just how opportunistic malware creators can be, but thanks to Android.AntiObscan, we got one. This is a piece of malware that's been floating around the Web recently that mimics Jay-Z's brand-new album app, Magna Carta Holy Grail. Weeks before its launch, this album hit the headlines in a big way due to a Samsung deal that would see 1 million Galaxy device owners receive the album for free (in effect making the album Platinum certified even before its release). That, along with the fact that we're dealing with Jay-Z here, is enough grab a lot of people's... Read more...
It appears that the Swiss have turned a reputation for having the most secure banks in the world into a possible refuge for corporations trying to keep data from the spying eyes of the NSA. The NSA’s PRISM program used the shadowy Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and a secret court to request data on U.S. citizens from major providers of Internet services such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. If you missed it, we’ve had quite a bit to say about the subject. Now, according to Ibtimes, it seems that U.S. companies are losing faith in domestic cloud storage providers, from... Read more...
More information is coming out regarding the NSA’s PRISM program wherein the agency has been requesting/demanding data on U.S. citizens from major Internet companies. (We have further reading on the subject here, here, and here.) After adamant declarations from some companies, perhaps most notably Facebook--Mark Zuckerberg wrote a personal, angry post about it--that they refused to allow the NSA direct access to company servers, there were plenty of questions remaining about how much data the NSA requested, and from whom. Facebook's Menlo Park campus Facebook has directly addressed the situation... Read more...
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, personality-wise, was the yin to Steve Jobs yang, and the effervescent and jovial Woz is typically an entertaining fellow, always good for a fresh perspective on mobile devices or other technology. Not so the other day in the airport. FayerWayerTV snagged some one-on-one time with Woz as he was waiting for his flight, and the topic of conversation turned to the NSA’s PRISM spying program as well as cloud services. Woz teed off on the NSA by comparing its spying on the American public as akin to communist Russia. “Communist Russia was so bad because they... Read more...
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