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The Connection Between The Copyright Industry And The NSA | TorrentFreak

The Connection Between The Copyright Industry And The NSA | TorrentFreak | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
There is a direct connection between copyright monopoly enforcement and mass surveillance, and between mass surveillance and lack of free speech. If you want to keep free speech, the copyright monopoly must be reduced sharply.
Artur Alves's insight:
"(...) copyright monopoly cannot be enforced without mass surveillance. There is no way to tell a private conversation in a digital environment from a monopolized audio file being transferred, not without actually looking at what’s being transferred. At that point, the secrecy of correspondence has been broken and mass surveillance introduced. The copyright industry has been continuously and relentlessly pushing for more mass surveillance, including surveillance of citizens who aren’t under any suspicion (“mass surveillance”) for this reason. They defended the now-illegal Data Retention Directive, which logs everybody’s communications and location all the time (specifically including yours), as well as similar initiatives."
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Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers

Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

Whistleblower tells Council of Europe NSA deliberately snooped on groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International

Artur Alves's insight:

«The US has spied on the staff of prominent human rights organisations,Edward Snowden has told the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Europe's top human rights body.

Giving evidence via a videolink from Moscow, Snowden said the National Security Agency – for which he worked as a contractor – had deliberately snooped on bodies like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

He told council members: "The NSA has specifically targeted either leaders or staff members in a number of civil and non-governmental organisations … including domestically within the borders of the United States." Snowden did not reveal which groups the NSA had bugged.«

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Snowden's Cryptographer on the NSA & Defending the Internet (MotherboardTV)

Cryptography expert Bruce Schneier, author of dozens of books on computer and real-world security, was tapped by The Guardian to help the newspaper decode the NSA documents disclosed by Edward Snowden. 

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I Spent Two Hours Talking With the NSA's Bigwigs. Here's What Has Them Mad | Threat Level | Wired.com

I Spent Two Hours Talking With the NSA's Bigwigs. Here's What Has Them Mad | Threat Level | Wired.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
My expectations were low when I asked the National Security Agency to cooperate with my story on the impact of Edward Snowden’s leaks on the tech industry. Imagine my surprise when they agreed to let me behind the fence.
Artur Alves's insight:

Steven Levy's (short) report of his visit to the NSA. Apparently, "They really hate Snowden" and "[t]hey believe their intelligence gathering is palatable because it’s controlled by laws, regulations, and internal oversight"... Naturally.

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NSA phone surveillance program likely unconstitutional, federal judge rules

NSA phone surveillance program likely unconstitutional, federal judge rules | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Collection of US phone metadata 'likely' in breach of fourth amendment as judge describes scope of programe as 'Orwellian'
Artur Alves's insight:

"A federal judge in Washington ruled on Monday that the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records by the National Security Agency is likely to violate the US constitution, in the most significant legal setback for the agency since the publication of the first surveillance disclosures by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Judge Richard Leon declared that the mass collection of metadata probably violates the fourth amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and was "almost Orwellian" in its scope. In a judgment replete with literary swipes against the NSA, he said James Madison, the architect of the US constitution, would be "aghast" at the scope of the agency’s collection of Americans' communications data."

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Brazil wants Internet independence from the US | World | DW.DE | 03.10.2013

Brazil wants Internet independence from the US | World | DW.DE | 03.10.2013 | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The NSA spying scandal has woken Brazil out of its data protection doze. Plans are being made for an optical network to link twelve South American countries with Europe and Africa, and largely avoid the US.
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Snowden leaks open up the great question of our age | Index on Censorship

Snowden leaks open up the great question of our age | Index on Censorship | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Artur Alves's insight:

"Edward Snowden’s leaks have exposed an ideological chasm between the partisans of free information and liberty and the guardians of state security. They have also asked demanding questions of the public at large: when does intelligence gathering become an unwarranted intrusion into private lives? Is the first responsibility of an intelligence agent to the country he serves or to a — self defined — greater good? Can we have a free society without people who do dirty work like spying on our emails?"

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The NSA's mass and indiscriminate spying on Brazilians

The NSA's mass and indiscriminate spying on Brazilians | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Glenn Greenwald: As it does in many non-adversarial countries, the surveillance agency is bulk collecting the communications of millions of citizens of Brazil
Artur Alves's insight:

Glenn Greenwald reports:

 

"[T]he NSA has, for years, systematically tapped into the Brazilian telecommunication network and indiscriminately intercepted, collected and stored the email and telephone records of millions of Brazilians. The story follows an article in Der Spiegel last week, written by Laura Poitras and reporters from that paper, detailing the NSA's mass and indiscriminate collection of the electronic communications of millions of Germans. There are many more populations of non-adversarial countries which have been subjected to the same type of mass surveillance net by the NSA: indeed, the list of those which haven't been are shorter than those which have. The claim that any other nation is engaging in anything remotely approaching indiscriminate worldwide surveillance of this sort is baseless."

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How the US (probably) spied on European allies’ encrypted faxes

How the US (probably) spied on European allies’ encrypted faxes | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Grainy image stokes speculation of old-school, Tempest-style attack.
Artur Alves's insight:

"US intelligence services implanted bugging tools into cryptographic facsimile devices to intercept secret communications sent or received by the European Union's Washington, DC outpost, according to the latest leak from former National Security Agency staffer Edward Snowden. Technical details are scarce, but security experts reading between the lines say the program probably relies on an old-school style of espionage that parses electric currents, acoustic vibrations, and other subtle types of energy to reveal the contents of encrypted communications."

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The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks."

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Bugged Routers, Spy Sales Pitches, and Other New NSA PowerPoint Bangers

Bugged Routers, Spy Sales Pitches, and Other New NSA PowerPoint Bangers | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Glenn Greenwald's new book about the Edward Snowden affair is already breaking new revelations of NSA spying programs.
Artur Alves's insight:

«Just as Glenn Greenwald’s scoops on the Edward Snowden NSA revelations seemed to be quieting down, his new book No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the U.S. Surveillance State is already breaking new revelations about the American spy agency. 

In an excerpt from his book on the Guardian website published last night, Greenwald accuses the NSA of covertly installing backdoor interceptions to “routers, servers, and other computer network devices,” being exported from the US before delivery to international customers. Part of a wider NSA practice of supply-chain interdiction, the agency intercepts American products manufactured by companies like Cisco and physically tampers with products, installing beacons for surveillance transmissions. According to Greenwald, after the bugs are installed, the NSA “repackages the devices with a factory seal, and sends them on” to unsuspecting users.

In the same excerpt Greenwald cites the irony of American intelligence agencies warning users about backdoor bugging in Chinese-made technologies used for espionage. “American companies were being warned away from supposedly untrustworthy Chinese routers, foreign organizations would have been well advised to beware of American-made ones,” Greenwald says.«

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NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls

NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The surveillance system is capable of recording “100 percent” of calls in at least one foreign country.
Artur Alves's insight:

"The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden.

A senior manager for the program compares it to a time machine — one that can replay the voices from any call without requiring that a person be identified in advance for surveillance.

The voice interception program, called MYSTIC, began in 2009. Its RETRO tool, short for “retrospective retrieval,” and related projects reached full capacity against the first target nation in 2011. Planning documents two years later anticipated similar operations elsewhere."

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The NSA and surveillance ... made simple - video animation

Confused about the NSA revelations? Find out how the activities of GCHQ and the NSA affect you with our animation
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How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet | Threat Level | Wired.com

How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet | Threat Level | Wired.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and the other tech titans have had to fight for their lives against their own government. An exclusive look inside their year from hell—and why the Internet will never be the same.
Artur Alves's insight:

A very enterprise-friendly piece by Steven Levy. The transparency of Silicon Valley companies has always raised doubts and considered wanting.

 

"The clash illustrates a seemingly irresolvable conflict. While Silicon Valley must be transparent in many regards, spy agencies operate under a cloak of obfuscation. There is certainly a reason for the secrecy; evildoers who use an Internet service presumably would be less likely to keep using it if they were aware that the pro­vider was sharing communications with the NSA. But one of the disturbing conse­quences of secret programs is the destructive shroud of doubt they cast over every­thing they touch. Months after Snowden’s leak, basic facts about Prism remain elusive. How much information is actually collected by the program? Exactly what kind of cooperation did the companies offer after those dates specified on that NSA PowerPoint slide? The companies contend that in addition to what they can’t say, there’s plenty they don’t know.

...

But even if the spy programs are viewed as justified, and whether they are tempered or not, we’re still left with the most sickening aspect of the Snowden revelations: The vast troves of information gathered from our digital activities will forever be seen as potential fodder for government intelligence agencies. A lot of people became inured to worries about Little Brother—private companies—knowing what we bought, where we were, what we were saying, and what we were searching for. Now it turns out that Big Brother can access that data too. It could not have been otherwise. The wealth of data we share on our computers, phones, and tablets is irresistible to a government determined to prevent the next disaster, even if the effort stretches laws beyond the comprehension of those who voted for them. And even if it turns the US into the number one adversary of American tech companies and their privacy-seeking customers."

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Snowden leak examines gaming as a terrorist propaganda and training tool

Snowden leak examines gaming as a terrorist propaganda and training tool | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
66-page report lays out intelligence concerns both practical and fantastical.
Artur Alves's insight:

"The latest document dump from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is getting a lot of deserved attention for revelations that international security agencies are taking steps to monitor communications inside online games. But those leaked documents also include an in-depth report on the potential for games to be used as recruitment, training, and propaganda tools by extremist organizations.

Security contractor SAIC produced the 66-page report "Games: A look at emerging trends, users, threats and opportunities in influence activities" in early 2007, and the document gives a rare window into how the US intelligence community views interactive games as a potential tool to be used by foreign actors. While parts of the report seem pretty realistic about gaming's potential use as a propaganda and planning tool, other sections provide a more fantastical take on how video games can be used as potential weapons by America's enemies."

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This is how the fear of government snooping takes its toll on tech companies

This is how the fear of government snooping takes its toll on tech companies | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Two very different technology offerings were dropped on Thursday because of fears that the US and China might be trying to spy on the customers using them.
Artur Alves's insight:

Can cyberespionage be the first nail on the coffin for internet business?

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How Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages

How Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Documents show company collaborated closely with NSA and FBI to help agencies intercept data
Artur Alves's insight:

"The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.

The documents show that:

• Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;

• The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;

• The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;

• Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;

• In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;

• Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport"."

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Who Governs The Internet and whose property is it?

Who Governs The Internet and whose property is it? | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Who Governs The Internet and whose property is it? Exposing Top Secret Internet Snooping program
Artur Alves's insight:

Wagn Wei on mass surveillance programs and the failure to uphold democratic standards and rights to the internet.

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What the NSA can do with “big data”

What the NSA can do with “big data” | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The NSA can't capture everything that crosses the Internet—but doesn't need to.
Artur Alves's insight:

... because internet companies are developing the means to do that for them.

 

"Ironically, about the same time these two programs were being exposed, Internet companies such as Google and Yahoo were solving the big data storage and analysis problem. In November of 2006, Google published a paper on BigTable, a database with petabytes of capacity capable of indexing the Web and supporting Google Earth and other applications. And the work at Yahoo to catch up with Google's GFS file system—the basis for BigTable—resulted in the Hadoop.

BigTable and Hadoop-based databases offered a way to handle huge amounts of data being captured by the NSA's operations, but they lacked something critical to intelligence operations: compartmentalized security (or any security at all, for that matter). So in 2008, NSA set out to create a better version of BigTable, called Accumulo—now an Apache Foundation project."

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