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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NSA Malware Denial

NSA denies report that it has infected millions of computers with malware

By on March 14, 2014 at 4:00 PM.

NSA denies report that it has infected millions of computers with malware

News broke earlier this week alleging that the National Security Agency “has infected millions of computers around the world with malware.” The report cited newly available documents leaked by Edward Snowden that had previously been classified, and it also claimed the NSA “is impersonating US social media or other websites” to spy on people. The NSA has since issued a statement refuting the report, however, claiming that the allegations within are unfounded and untrue. More →

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NSA Hacking Expansion Snowden

NSA’s plan to inject malware into ‘millions’ of computers revealed

By on March 12, 2014 at 8:30 PM.

NSA’s plan to inject malware into ‘millions’ of computers revealed

Even if you make use of Snowden’s tips for remaining anonymous online, there might not be much you can do to escape the NSA’s latest expansion. Ryan Gallagher and Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept report that classified files reveal “new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware ‘implants.'” More →

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How To Stay Anonymous Online

3 tips for keeping everything you do online a secret

By on March 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM.

3 tips for keeping everything you do online a secret

For the past several months, infamous NSA leaker Edward Snowden has confounded the United States government’s attempts to track him online and stop him from releasing further damaging damaging information about its intelligence gathering activities. How has he been able to do this ? The Wall Street Journal reports that Snowden this week gave three simple tips to help make sure that no one can track your online activity: Encrypt your entire hard drive, use Tor to keep yourself completely anonymous online, and enable browser extensions that block third parties’ ability to track you. More →

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Assange Wikileaks SXSW Interview

Wikileaks founder Assange vows more damaging leaks on the way

By on March 10, 2014 at 8:45 PM.

Wikileaks founder Assange vows more damaging leaks on the way

Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, criticized the NSA and hinted at future leaks in a Skype interview at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, did not give any details about what would be included in future leaks. He also blasted the Obama administration for its weak response to the NSA leaks by Edward Snowden. More →

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NSA Spying Yahoo Webcam Pictures

NSA helped UK spy agency collect millions of pics from Yahoo web chats

By on February 27, 2014 at 1:46 PM.

NSA helped UK spy agency collect millions of pics from Yahoo web chats

We’ve read a lot of shocking things about the National Security Agency’s spying practices but this new revelation might be the most shocking one yet. The Guardian reports that the NSA has helped British spy agency GCHQ capture and store millions of images from Yahoo users’ webcam chats with one another, even though most of the users in question weren’t targets of intelligence surveillance programs. Yahoo has, of course, denied any prior knowledge of this program’s existence and has condemned it as “a whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy.” More →

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NSA, GCHQ WikiLeaks Spying

Report claims NSA spied on WikiLeaks and all of its readers

By on February 18, 2014 at 11:15 PM.

Report claims NSA spied on WikiLeaks and all of its readers

New documents leaked by former NSA employee turned whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA and GCHQ consistently spied on WikiLeaks in the past years, recording information regarding the people who accessed the site in the process, regardless of their citizenship. The Intercept has seen documents that reveal the extent of WikiLLeaks-related spying that targeted “the human network that supports WikiLeaks” including readers. More →

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NSA telephone metadata recommendations

Outgoing NSA director: ‘It’s not our mission’ to spy on everyone in the world

By on February 17, 2014 at 11:30 AM.

Outgoing NSA director: ‘It’s not our mission’ to spy on everyone in the world

The National Security Agency (NSA) will send its recommendations for where to store telephone metadata records to President Obama later this week, the outgoing NSA director said Friday in a speech defending his agency’s surveillance tactics. General Keith Alexander, who is retiring as NSA director next month, did not say where he thinks the data should be held. President Obama recommended on January 17th that the government stop holding Americans’ phone call records, but pushing the data out to either telephone companies or to a third party are both seen as having significant drawbacks. More →

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Snowden NSA Leaks

How did Snowden swipe all those NSA documents? The answer is far less thrilling than you think

By on February 14, 2014 at 12:30 AM.

How did Snowden swipe all those NSA documents? The answer is far less thrilling than you think

To some, he’s a hero. To others, a treasonous saboteur. But of one thing, there is no doubt: former NSA contractor Edward Snowden changed the course of history by leaking a mountain of confidential documents detailing various NSA programs used to covertly monitor communications around the world. Whether or not you agree with what Snowden did, there has always been a bit of curiosity surrounding exactly how the huge NSA breach went down. As it turns out, reality is far less thrilling than you might imagine. More →

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