GCHQ Names for Spying Tools

These are the absurd names British intelligence spies have to remember to spy on you

By on July 15, 2014 at 9:45 PM.

These are the absurd names British intelligence spies have to remember to spy on you

In case you didn’t know it by now, spy agencies are really good – and hopefully effective – at spying on people, including both actual valid targets as well as unsuspecting citizens who aren’t plotting anything bigger than a trip to an exotic country. To further demonstrate the power of one such agency – NSA’s close buddy, the British GCHQ, in this case – The Intercept has published a new Snowden leak, which reveals such ambitious mass spying plans, as well as their silly names. More →

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NSA Spying Programs

Every crazy NSA revelation in one giant chart

By on July 1, 2014 at 1:26 PM.

Every crazy NSA revelation in one giant chart

The United States National Security Agency has had a rough year. It all began when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden infiltrated the agency’s systems and stole thousands upon thousands of confidential documents revealing many of the top-secret cyber surveillance programs the NSA has employed in recent years. The revelations began with PRISM but there have now been so many that it may be a good time for a quick recap. More →

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NSA Snowden Leaks

NSA chief says terrorists are changing their behavior thanks to Snowden leaks

By on July 1, 2014 at 9:00 AM.

NSA chief says terrorists are changing their behavior thanks to Snowden leaks

More than a year ago, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began leaking thousands of confidential documents that he stole while working for the National Security Agency. The documents shined light on a number of controversial spying methods employed by the government agency, many of which were considered violations of American citizens’ privacy.

There are very good arguments for and against Snowden’s actions, and one of the most valid arguments against the leaks was the suggestion that terrorists would alter their behavior and strategies in order to avoid the now-public NSA monitoring tactics. As it turns out, the NSA has now confirmed that this is indeed the case — but the problem apparently isn’t as serious as many people had feared. More →

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Why Did Lavabit Shut Down

Why Lavabit shut down: Founder explains 38 days of legal hell

By on May 21, 2014 at 3:10 PM.

Why Lavabit shut down: Founder explains 38 days of legal hell

After Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks from last year, rumors circulated that Snowden used Lavabit, which at the time was a hugely popular secure email service. Soon after that, Lavabit founder Ladar Levison wrote that he was forced to decide between being “complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit.” He decided to shut Lavabit down, and he added ominously, “I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot.” More →

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NSA Malware on Servers and Routers

NSA reportedly implants backdoors into U.S.-made servers and routers for foreign markets

By on May 13, 2014 at 7:15 PM.

NSA reportedly implants backdoors into U.S.-made servers and routers for foreign markets

A new report from The Guardian reveals that NSA has allegedly been tampering with U.S.-made electronic equipment including servers, routers and other network devices that are exported to foreign markets in order to insert backdoor surveillance malware, which can be later activated to spy on networks. More →

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White House on Heartbleed Security Flaw

Why the NSA might not say anything about the next ‘Heartbleed’

By on April 29, 2014 at 11:45 PM.

Why the NSA might not say anything about the next ‘Heartbleed’

Secretive agencies like the National Security Agency will not hurry to disclose future Heartbleed-like security issues, or at least they won’t always be interested in doing so, The White House revealed in a blog post. It also reiterated the fact that the NSA did not actually know about this major security bug that affected 66% of the entire Internet, as it was previously rumored. After all, the NSA denied everything on Twitter — and soon after, the NSA released its own set of instructions telling the public how to deal with the security flaw. More →

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NSA Heartbleed Security Flaw

The NSA has its own suggestions for dealing with Heartbleed

By on April 15, 2014 at 11:20 AM.

The NSA has its own suggestions for dealing with Heartbleed

The National Security Agency has already denied reports that claimed it had been aware of the Heartbleed security threat and used it in its advantage, and now the agency has issued its own document, picked up by Engadget, advising users on how to deal with this major security risk that has been found to affect a large number of websites. More →

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NSA Heartbleed

NSA reportedly exploited Heartbleed for years, leaving us all at risk

By on April 11, 2014 at 3:13 PM.

NSA reportedly exploited Heartbleed for years, leaving us all at risk

The odds are good that no one will be surprised to learn that the National Security Agency knew about the Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability that affected 66% of the entire Internet at the time of its discovery. The allegation that the NSA used the security hole itself to spy on targets might not be terribly shocking either. What is pretty surprising — and appalling — however, is the fact that Bloomberg is reporting the NSA knew about the huge vulnerability for “at least two years” and did nothing, leaving us all at risk. More →

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier NSA

New Captain America movie with clear anti-NSA message is a massive hit abroad

By on April 7, 2014 at 1:35 PM.

New Captain America movie with clear anti-NSA message is a massive hit abroad

When the original Captain America movie came out, many wondered how well it would play in massive new Asian markets like China. Would a superhero movie with an in-your-face, pro-America message fare well? Well, the first movie in the franchise was a bit weak outside the U.S. — it grossed $194 million in all international markets combined. Fairly mediocre.

However, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a different story entirely.

The new domestic blockbuster is also off to a sizzling start abroad, hitting $207 million in just 10 days and grossing an incredible $39 million in China in less than two weeks. This places it well above the performance of Iron Man 3, a well-established Marvel series with a hugely charismatic lead.

So, what caused the sudden surge of international interest in Captain America? More →

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Google Transparency Report 1H 2014

Video: Here’s how Google handles 50,000 government requests in a year

By on March 27, 2014 at 3:33 PM.

Video: Here’s how Google handles 50,000 government requests in a year

In every transparency report from Google since 2009, the number of requests from the government has increased at a steady pace, but 2013 represents the largest year-over-year growth in the history of the reports. According to Google, requests have increased by 120% since 2009, amounting to over 50,000 requests in 2013. Interestingly, as the frequency has increased, the number of requests that Google has had to comply with have actually dropped — the data shows that the percentage of requests where data was produced has decreased from 76% to 64% since 2010. More →

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NSA Phone Spying

Obama unveils major changes to NSA phone record collection program

By on March 27, 2014 at 10:35 AM.

Obama unveils major changes to NSA phone record collection program

President Barack Obama on Thursday unveiled major changes to the “spying” program that previously saw the National Security Agency collect and store millions of phone call logs that could then be examined without the knowledge of the parties placing and receiving the calls. The biggest change, as it turns out, is that the NSA will no longer collect and store this data at all. Instead, phone companies will be tasked with storing the records and the NSA will need authorization from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to access individual records. More →

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NSA's Prism Internet Spying

NSA says tech giants knew about its spying efforts

By on March 20, 2014 at 11:45 PM.

NSA says tech giants knew about its spying efforts

The NSA on Wednesday said “unequivocally” that U.S. tech giants were “fully aware” of the agency’s data collecting operations, The Guardian reports, even though tech companies denied having any knowledge of the Prism program, or helping the NSA in any way. In fact, since the Edward Snowden leaks hit papers and the Internet, tech companies have tried to reassure customers that their privacy is very important to them by either enabling encryption for their online services, asking the government to allow them to disclose the volume and type of data they share with the agencies, and/or campaigning against the NSA’s bulk data collection efforts. More →

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NSA's MYSTIC Phone Calls Spying Program

NSA can record a nation’s ‘every single’ phone call and keep them for a month

By on March 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM.

NSA can record a nation’s ‘every single’ phone call and keep them for a month

The National Security Agency is able to collect a nation’s “every single” phone call and store the voice recordings for a month, according to a new Edward Snowden leak that reveals further details on the NSA’s bulk data collection practices for intelligence operations. The Washington Post has learned that the NSA’s MYSTIC voice interception program began in 2009, with the agency developing a RETRO tool that can access any voice calls from the targeted nation for a period of 30 days. More →

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