Friday, June 07, 2013
As expected, Verizon was not alone. This is only a few of the articles flooding the newsfeeds.
NSA taps in to user data of Facebook, Apple, Google and others, secret files reveal
The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.
The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.
The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims "collection directly from the servers" of major US service providers.
Although the presentation claims the program is run with the assistance of the companies, all those who responded to a Guardian request for comment on Thursday denied knowledge of any such program.
In a statement, Google said: "Google cares deeply about the security of our users' data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government 'back door' into our systems, but Google does not have a back door for the government to access private user data." [Why use a back door when you have a key to the front door? Bob]
… Unlike the collection of those call records, this surveillance can include the content of communications and not just the metadata.
Some of the world's largest internet brands are claimed to be part of the information-sharing program since its introduction in 2007. Microsoft – which is currently running an advertising campaign with the slogan "Your privacy is our priority" – was the first, with collection beginning in December 2007.
It was followed by Yahoo in 2008; Google, Facebook and PalTalk in 2009; YouTube in 2010; Skype and AOL in 2011; and finally Apple, which joined the program in 2012. The program is continuing to expand, with other providers due to come online.
… A chart prepared by the NSA, contained within the top-secret document obtained by the Guardian, underscores the breadth of the data it is able to obtain: email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP (Skype, for example) chats, file transfers, social networking details, and more.
(Related) A little gasoline for the fire
In the wake of last night’s revelation that everyone in the world has a creepy NSA-shaped stalker, defenders of online liberty and generally angry internet people Anonymous have leaked a treasure trove of NSA documents, including seriously important stuff like the US Department of Defense’s ‘Strategic Vision’ for controlling the internet.
The documents — 13 in total — were posted online, along with an accompanying message full of the normal Anonymous bluster: people won’t be silenced, they have the memory of trivia-master elephants, the governments of the world will fall, your average press release really.
(Related) How does this help?
US declassifies phone program details after uproar
Moving to tamp down a public uproar spurred by the disclosure of two secret surveillance programs, the nation's top intelligence official is declassifying key details about one of the programs while insisting the efforts to collect America's phone records and the U.S. internet use of foreign nationals overseas were legal, limited in scope and necessary to detect terrorist threats. [...and we haven't seen a single terrorist since we started doing this! Bob]
The last detailed new revelation of a domestic surveillance program came on December 16, 2005, when the New York Times published an article it had held, at the Bush Administration’s request, for months: “Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts.”
The public reacted with a shrug: It was the age of terror, and the program was directed at monitoring specific terror suspects. “Americans Taking Abramoff, Alito and Domestic Spying in Stride,” was the headline on the Pew Poll in January of 2006.
There was good reason to think even then — as Glenn Greenwald conclusively reported Wednesday, more than seven years later — that the National Security Agency is scooping up pretty much all of our phone calls. And there was good political reason that the government has fought so hard to keep that program — widely enough known that one imagines professional terrorists are on to it — secret.
(Related) “A TIA by any other name would stink as much.” Willy S.
Welcome to the era of Total Information Awareness and ain't it grand?
The problem isn't the National Security Agency. It's the Patriot Act and what it represents as we watch the modern surveillance state take shape -- in secret.
You Have No Control Over Security on the Feudal Internet
Facebook regularly abuses the privacy of its users. Google has stopped supporting its popular RSS feeder. Apple prohibits all iPhone apps that are political or sexual. Microsoft might be cooperating with some governments to spy on Skype calls, but we don't know which ones. Both Twitter and LinkedIn have recently suffered security breaches that affected the data of hundreds of thousands of their users.
If you've started to think of yourself as a hapless peasant in a Game of Thrones power struggle, you're more right than you may realize. These are not traditional companies, and we are not traditional customers. These are feudal lords, and we are their vassals, peasants, and serfs.
(Related) Perhaps this doesn't bother politicians because they know “everybody does it!” Although the Chinese will protest that it really wasn't them, it was a 12-year-old from Cleveland who spoofed a Chinese web address
Chinese hackers reportedly stole Obama and McCain documents
On the eve of President Barack Obama's high-level meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. intelligence officials have revealed that a slew of documents and e-mails were stolen during the 2008 presidential campaign from both the president and then GOP presidential candidate John McCain. Officials are accusing China's government for the hack.
According to NBC News, officials said that they first detected the major cyberattack in the summer of 2008 and were then able to trace the culprits back to China.
Perspective Corporations can ban technology before it is released, but Congress waits until the voters are aroused before they think about holding hearings to consider new laws.
Google Glass in casinos? Don't bet on it
Eyeglasses that would let users snap a photo or shoot a video with a slight head movement are being banned in gambling establishments across the U.S.
In time for summer! Similar devices could help guide my pool game, kendo, sniper training, you name it.
Crave giveaway: SwingTip golf gizmo for analyzing your game
… The SwingTip from Mobiplex is a tiny 3D Bluetooth motion sensor device that clips on to your golf club and transmits real-time swing analysis to your smartphone or tablet. The sensor pairs with a free mobile app for Android or iOS that reproduces a 3D photo-like animation of your swing along with performance metrics like swing speed, tempo, and path, and where the ball's hitting your club.
The apps also let you sync your data to the cloud, where you can view performance trend reports on your personal MySwingTip Web page.