Sunday, June 30, 2013

A picture in a story is worth 1001.2 words!
Inner workings of a top secret spy program
The National Security Agency’s PRISM progam, which collects intelligence from Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Apple and other tech giants, is “targeted” at foreign- ers. But it also collects the e-mail, voice, text and video chats of an unknown number of Americans — “inadvertently,” “incidentally” or deliberately if an American is conversing with a foreign target overseas. Here are new details on how the program works, from Top-Secret documents and interviews.

Not a lot of detail, but a peek at what happens...
Founder of nonprofit Internet Archive permitted to talk about receiving a national-security letter
“Brewster Kahle, the founder of the nonprofit Internet Archive, perhaps the greatest of our digital libraries, and of the Wayback Machine, which allows you to browse an archive of the Web that reaches back to 1996. He is one of very few people in the United States who can talk about receiving a national-security letter. These letters are one of the ways government agencies, in particular the F.B.I., can demand data from organizations in matters related to national security. They do not require prior approval from a judge, only the assertion that the information demanded is relevant to a national-security investigation. Recipients of a national-security letter typically are not allowed to disclose it.”
[From the article:
Hundreds of thousands of national-security letters have been sent. But only the plaintiffs in the three successful challenges so far—Kahle; Nicholas Merrill, of Calyx Internet Access; and the Connecticut librarians George Christian, Barbara Bailey, Peter Chase, and Janet Nocek—are known to have had them rescinded, together with all or part of their related gag orders, according to Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

“Suspects” use encryption, why don't corporations?
Wiretap Report 2012 – Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
“Each Wiretap Report uses tables, text, and charts to report information provided by federal and state officials on orders authorizing or approving interceptions of wire, oral, or electronic communications for the calendar year ending December 31… This report covers intercepts concluded between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2012, and provides supplementary information on arrests and convictions resulting from intercepts concluded in prior years.
  • The reports present data on types of offenses under investigation, nature and locations of intercept devices, costs and durations of intercepts, and intercept extensions granted.
  • They do not include names, addresses, or phone numbers of subjects under surveillance.
  • Publications dating back to 1997 are available in the archive.
  • This report does not include data on interceptions regulated by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
[From the report:
Encryption was reported for 15 wiretaps in 2012 and for 7 wiretaps conducted during previous years. In four of these wiretaps, officials were unable to decipher the plain text of the messages. This is the first time that jurisdictions have reported that encryption prevented officials from obtaining the plain text of the communications since the AO began collecting encryption data in 2001.

For my ethical hackers... You don't need to go to the dark side.
Being labeled a “hacker” usually comes with plenty of negative connotations. If you call yourself a hacker, people will often perceive you as someone who causes mischief just for giggles. But as I described in this article explaining the difference between good and bad hackers, there are also ethical hackers that end up doing similar tasks for good and not evil.
… Experience can be gained in two different ways — freelance jobs and good ol’ messin’ around. Using the Internet is crucial as it contains a wealth of free information to help you learn as you try out new things. There are also plenty of resources to look at, such as James’ tutorial on how to crack a WEP-protected wireless network, the BackTrack Linux distribution that specializes in penetration testing, and tools such as Firesheep or Droidsheep that filter through unprotected wireless traffic.
… In order to legitimize yourself as a good at ethical hacking, you can become a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) by completing a vendor-neutral certification course
… So as you can see, it’s definitely possible to earn a living by ethical hacking. Although the process to getting to that point definitely isn’t easy (nor is for every computer guy), it could be well worth it if you’re good at it and enjoy doing i

It's a start. How many teachers even know all these tools, much less the proper way to use them.
The Student’s Guide To Proper Social Media Etiquette
… In general, just act right. Don’t spam or be fake. Share the good stuff and don’t overuse one particular social network. This helpful chart should outline a few more tidbits I thought worth passing along to the Edudemic readers.

Free is good!
In case you weren’t aware there are a lot of eBooks available on the Internet that cost nothing. If you are willing to look, they are out there in a big way. However, finding them is not always as easy as you’d like it to be. They tend to be scattered around the web in different places. However, Bookresults makes it easy to find all kinds of free eBooks on the Internet.
… Each result has an option to “Read Here” and “Read on New Tab.” Either way, this will open up the file and let you read the book in just seconds. It opens up the file in a nice eBook reader, so it’s not just a PDF on a website. It’s incredibly easy to use, and makes for a great way to read free books online.

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