The National Security Agency (NSA), which is behind some of the world’s most sophisticated mass surveillance operations, can’t say how many Americans it’s spying on in these endeavors. That’s not because it’s a secret, though that might be a reason too. It’s because the agency’s operations are so vast that it can’t even figure out the number. More →
If you don’t know who Edward Snowden is and why he’s so important to the technology sector, then Oliver Stone’s Snowden will tell you everything you need to know about his story. If you already know who Snowden is, then you’re probably already anticipating the movie eagerly.
The first trailer already makes Snowden look like the next Bourne-style action movie, though parts of the trailer make the movie look kind of, well, lame. It’s too early to pass judgement, but watch it yourself and you’ll see. More →
Apple may have won its first major battle with intelligence and law enforcement agencies, at least in the public eye. But the iPhone encryption wars are far from over, and there’s no telling whether the FBI will indeed stop from harassing the company about creating backdoors into its software. Furthermore, there’s no telling what the NSA can already do when it comes to encrypted iPhones, and Apple is apparently worried that spies may have an out-of-the-box way to tap into iPhone data — one that doesn’t require court orders, public debates or new legislation.
It’s all very simple for intelligence agencies, and very scary for everyone else: Spies could be adding backdoors to Apple’s cloud. More →
The iPhone 5c that belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook is susceptible to certain malicious attacks that could get the FBI what it wants: unrestricted access to a device that might hold some evidence linking the shooter to other potential suspects. The NSA has been conspicuously absent from the Apple vs. FBI battle, AND MANY HAVE WONDERED whether the NSA can indeed break into the handset… AS WELL AS why it’s not doing it to help in this particular investigation.
Even Apple indirectly acknowledged that the NSA might have what it takes to crack any iPhones, by grilling the FBI on the reason it didn’t explain why the NSA’s resources aren’t being used.
However, even if the NSA has powerful tools to crack iPhones, it’s probably for the best it doesn’t use them on this particular device. More →
In a new court brief filed this week, Apple once again makes its case that the FBI’s request to force it to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5c isn’t constitutional. While this isn’t surprising, it’s notable that the iPhone maker also implies that the NSA might have what it takes to decrypt iPhones for the FBI. It’s just that the Bureau seems not to have sought such assistance.
The FBI is trying to convince us all that Apple has to be forced to create a backdoor in the iPhone so that the San Bernardino shooter’s phone can be inspected for digital evidence. But not all experts agree with that stance, with many saying that the FBI or other intelligence agencies, could crack that iPhone.
The Snowden leaks explained in great detail some of the most sophisticated spying tools the NSA has developed in recent years for conducting mass surveillance operations and collecting data. That’s one of the reasons why Apple and other tech companies started using encryption to protect their devices, and why Apple is currently involved in a high-profile case against the FBI.
The government agency wants access to the iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters, looking to force Apple to create a backdoor into the operating system. Many people pondered why the FBI isn’t cracking the iPhone without help from Apple, and why the NSA and CIA aren’t providing any assistance.
New reports cast a different light on the case, revealing that the NSA is not in the FBI’s corner in this fight and explaining why the intelligence agency isn’t keen on breaking iPhone encryption the way the FBI wants. More →
Apple’s fight with the FBI is one of the most important stories in tech today, as its outcome will have major implications for consumer privacy and safety. But while the FBI is essentially asking Apple to build a backdoor into iOS to unlock the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, other spy agencies are claiming they’re actually in favor of strong encryption.
The NSA is one of them and it has repeatedly claimed that strong encryption is required in today’s tech landscape. And now British spy agency GCHQ has chimed in to say that it also supports strong encryption on the web.
The hackers at the National Security Agency have repeatedly shown themselves to be some of the most talented in the world and have hacked into the private data centers of both Google and Microsoft. Why, then, hasn’t the FBI turned to the NSA for help in unlocking the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook? The Intercept has written an interesting article asking that very question and it concludes that the NSA likely does have the technical means to break into an iPhone that was released all the way back in 2013. More →
The United States and the European Union are about to reach a new privacy agreement intended to replace the old Safe Harbor agreement that came under intense scrutiny after the Snowden leaks revealed the scope of NSA’s data collection operations.
The new Privacy Shield was published in full a few days ago, showing the principles that would govern the exchange of digital information between EU consumers and U.S. companies. However, the new agreement also has provisions that explain how and when the NSA can continue bulk data collection in the region. More →
There’s no question that Apple’s ongoing legal dispute with the FBI has brought a myriad of complex legal, security, and policy issues to the forefront. But if we put those serious issues aside for just a moment, one of the more interesting aspects of the case, I think, is that the FBI even needed Apple’s help in the first place.
Especially given how pervasive and advanced the NSA’s surveillance and hacking techniques were even just a few years ago, many people, including myself, were of the opinion that government agencies, from the FBI to the CIA, likely had the technical expertise to effectively hack into any device and monitor anyone, anywhere.
In case you haven’t been following the news, the encryption wars are back and a huge Apple vs. FBI clash is the latest major conflict. The FBI wants access to the iPhone that belonged to one of the shooters in the San Bernardino massacre, and Apple is refusing to offer it.
But long before this week’s big battle, there was a debate over the role that encryption played in the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last November. The NSA now says that the Paris attacks “would not have happened,” without encryption.
So does that mean the NSA can listen to everything except encrypted chats and communications?
The level, reach, and breadth of NSA surveillance activities, which were originally brought to the surface by Edward Snowden, undoubtedly opened the eyes of many. As a result, the public over the past three years has learned an awful lot about the NSA’s capabilities and some of the more clever approaches they incorporate when conducting surveillance.