A newly declassified order (via Courthouse News) reveals that the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court affirmed the government's authority to collect phone records, rejecting a challenge to the government from Verizon related to its mass surveillance of Americans' call data.
The National Security Agency has denied that it knew about or took advantage of the Heartbleed online security flaw. The U.S. spy agency made the statement following this Bloomberg report that it took advantage of the OpenSSL exploit before it was made public by security researchers.
Today President Obama issued a statement announcing plans to push for an adjustment to the National Security Agency's collection of phone metadata, but opponents say his suggestions may not go far enough. The White House offered support for legislation to end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection, instead putting the data into the care of phone companies.
President Barack Obama is expected to put forward a proposal that would end the National Security Agency’s collection of a huge amount of data on U.S. mobile calls, according to what an unnamed Obama administration official told Politico. The proposal is a familiar one: the NSA would eliminate the database of phone data it stores, instead relying on accessing the data from carriers who would be required to store it for up to 18 months.
Top executives from tech companies including Facebook, Google and more are meeting with President Obama today to talk about “issues of privacy, technology, and intelligence,” according to what one White House official tells Politico. The administration declined to provide a list of those attending the meeting.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) will deliver an address to students at the University of California-Berkeley that paints a dark portrait of the intelligence community as power hungry and out of control, according to excerpts from the speech obtained by Politico.
Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor that is the source of a cache of leaked internal NSA documents who is now hiding out in Russia to avoid espionage charges promises that more revelations about the agency's vast international and domestic spying programs will be revealed. He calls these upcoming revelations "big" and notes that reporting these revelations is not a crime. Snowden made his comments remotely during a recent TED event.
This might keep you up at night, assuming that the National Security Agency's unprecedented levels of spying bother you: new documents obtained by the Washington Post and presented in this in-depth report details a system capable of capturing an entire country's calls and storing them for thirty days.
The House Intelligence Committee’s Republican and Democratic leaders are "close to" agreeing on legislation that would end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of U.S. citizens’ telephone data, according to what top lawmakers are telling Politico.
Earlier this week it was revealed (through documents from Edward Snowden's cache of NSA internal documents) that the National Security Agency planned to infect millions of computer systems using sophisticated malware. This would allow it to pose as Facebook and other sites in order to intercept data. Today the agency is denying the information in those documents. The agency said today that it does not pose as any U.S. companies and that "what it does is legal."
We know that the NSA has been ramping up its efforts to collect data from computers since 911, but as more information from Edward Snowden's cache of lifted NSA documents are made available it is becoming evident that the intelligence agency has already put the necessary tools in place to compromise or hack computers on a grander scale than anyone could have imagined.
In a statement to NBC News former NSA contractor (currently in exile in Russia after leaking classified NSA documents about domestic and international spying programs) called Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA.) hypocritical for complaining about the CIA allegedly spying on the Senate while strongly supporting the NSA's spying programs and bills like CISPA.
Did the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spy on Senate staffers in an effort to stymie an investigation into illegal torture tactics being used by the agency during the Bush Administration? CIA Director John Brennan said that the agency does not spy on Congress and that such an allegation is beyond the scope of reason and simply not true.
According to a report in the New York Times, the National Security Agency knew in 2013 that the Australian spy agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), was conducting surveillance on a U.S.-based law firm representing the Indonesian government in a trade dispute with the U.S. government. The dispute was over the United States banning the import of clove cigarettes into the U.S. from Indonesia.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during her weekly podcast that she is proposing to other European nations - most notably France - to build their own communications network to help improve data protection. Chancellor Merkel described a network that would not have to automatically pass through the United States.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has been talking about a class action lawsuit against the NSA and the Obama administration over the spy agency's collection of phone metadata and other collection activities.
The lawsuit was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, with Rand Paul and conservative group Freedom Works named as lead plaintiffs. The lawsuit is aimed at President Barack Obama, Director of National Security James Clapper, Director of the NSA Keith Alexander, and Director of the FBI James Comey Jr.
Today is the day that advocacy groups and businesses have designated as a day of protest online against the NSA's unfettered surveillance and data collection practices. Led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the collective are calling on websites and internet users to show their support by displaying special banners online and to contact their elected official in D.C. to let them know that the mass surveillance being conducted by the NSA needs to come to an end.
Jesse Ventura, former Minnesota Governor and host of a new show online called "Off the Grid," has endorsed tomorrow's planned Internet protest of NSA surveillance, attentively dubbed "The Day We Fight Back."
“Benjamin Franklin once said those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety,” stated Jesse Ventura. “I hope to raise awareness of how dangerous the NSA has become, and I will be joined online with people around the world who feel the same way.”
The lead author of the Patriot Act said on Tuesday that he will spearhead an effort to reject reauthorization of the law (which is set to expire next year) if the White House doesn't make some serious changes to Section 215 of the law, which has led to the NSA and other government agencies collecting and storing all kinds of information on American citizens.
The head of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) has lashed out at one of the key journalists publishing stories about the documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. While not mentioning him by name, Rogers basically calls The Guardian's Glen Greenwald a thief, implying that he is committing some sort of crime and is selling the documents leaked by Edward Snowden. You may recall that Greenwald was one of the first journalists to break the story about Edward Snowden and his cache of NSA-related documents and materials..
The Electronic Frontier Foundation today released an add-on for the Android version of Firefox that implements its HTTPS Everywhere encryption technology. HTTPS Everywhere is already available for web browsers here.
Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said in a blog post today that President Obama's proposed changes to how the National Security Agency collects and stores both phone and internet data is not enough.
"Despite the President’s reform efforts and our ability to publish more information, there has not yet been any public commitment by either the U.S. or other governments to renounce the attempted hacking of Internet companies," Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said. "This has been and remains a major concern across the tech sector."
This week Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and LinkedIn were finally able to release some data on requests by law enforcement agencies and federal authorities from January to June of 2013. Getting to this point was quite the fight, but something the aforementioned companies decided was important to pursue because the NSA files leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden said that some corporations were actively cooperating with government agencies. All flatly denied those allegations.
Rep. Peter King (R-New York) this week laid into the Republican National Committee (RNC) for its resolution stating that the National Security Agency's spying was unconstitutional, that various surveillance programs should be halted immediately, and that a "full public accounting" of those activities should take place. Rep. King described the resolution as a “hysterical” measure that could be a “death warrant” for the GOP. The RNC announced the resolution on Friday.