Surveillance & Privacy

24 August 2013

NSA paid millions to cover Prism compliance costs for tech companies The Guardian

The National Security Agency paid millions of dollars to cover the costs of major internet companies involved in the Prism surveillance program after a court ruled that some of the agency's activities were unconstitutional, according to top-secret material passed to the Guardian.

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UK government given Tuesday deadline over David Miranda data The Guardian

The high court has given the government until Tuesday night to provide detailed evidence about why it wants the right to trawl and share data seized using terror laws from the partner of a Guardian journalist.

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23 August 2013

Edward Snowden leaks reveal UK’s secret Middle-East internet surveillance base The Independent

Britain runs a secret internet-monitoring station in the Middle East to intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, The Independent has learnt.

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US intelligence services go 'on the record' with new Tumblr blog The Guardian

As scrutiny of the activities of the US National Security Agency (NSA) continues, a new Tumblr blog launched by the Office of the Director of National Security is promising more transparency on "lawful foreign surveillance activities" carried out by US agencies.

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NSA Responds To Criticism Over Surveillance Programs Dark Reading

The NSA has hit back after mounting criticism about its ability to intercept Web communications domestically, claiming that reports of its capabilities are "inaccurate and misleading."

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Guardian Editor: 'British More Complacent' about Surveillance Der Spiegel

The Guardian has been on the front lines of exposing vast surveillance undertaken by the US and the UK -- and has been targeted by the authorities as a result. In an interview, Editor-in-Chief Alan Rusbridger talks about his confrontation with the government and why the scandal isn't making waves in Britain.

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Here's how privacy advocates shined light on the NSA's unconstitutional surveillance Washington Post

After a legal battle that went on over a year, the federal government was forced to reveal a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court (FISC) opinion that showed the National Security Agency (NSA) engaged in unconstitutional surveillance practices, including the collection of tens of thousands of Americans' online communications. The Switch talked to Mark Rumold, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) who worked on the case, hours after the opinion was released Wednesday night. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

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New Zealand rights group blasts new law extending surveillance powers Reuters

A New Zealand civil liberties group denounced a new law permitting wider surveillance of citizens on Thursday, saying authorities were "buying into" the monitoring exposed by fugitive former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

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22 August 2013

NSA gathered thousands of Americans’ e-mails before court ordered it to revise its tactics Washington Post

For several years, the National Security Agency unlawfully gathered tens of thousands of e-mails and other electronic communications between Americans as part of a now-revised collection method, according to a 2011 secret court opinion.

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Coalition battle looms over anti-terror laws after Greenwald partner detention The Guardian

Nick Clegg and Theresa May are heading for a confrontation over the future of Britain's anti-terror laws in the aftermath of the controversy over the detention of the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald.

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New Details Show Broader NSA Surveillance Reach - Programs Cover 75% of Nation's Traffic, Can Snare Emails Wall Street Journal

The National Security Agency -- which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens -- has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans' Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say.

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The FISA court got really upset when the NSA didn’t tell the truth on surveillance Washington Post

For weeks, we've all been trying to determine whether the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is a rubber stamp or an effective check on the NSA's broad surveillance powers. The Obama administration insists that FISC's existence is evidence that the system works. Critics of the court say it is either complicit with the NSA or powerless to resist it.

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21 August 2013

PRISM works because a ton of data moves through U.S. servers. That's also why it could fail. Washington Post

The White House really doesn't want you to know what it knows about you. The risk, supposedly, is that disclosing how the nation's intelligence apparatus works would give terrorists and criminals an advantage. But in the long run, the government's penchant for secretiveness could actually undermine its ability to spy on terrorists.

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Groklaw news website abandoned over US surveillance BBC News

An award-winning legal news website has stopped work, saying it cannot operate under current US surveillance policies.

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Australian website privacy policies need overhaul: experts Computerworld

Regulation may be the only way to improve website privacy policies according to former Australian Privacy Commissioner, Malcolm Crompton.

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19 August 2013

Google trying to evade UK privacy laws, campaigners claim The Guardian

Privacy campaigners have slammed Google for claiming that UK laws don't apply to it, after British users claimed the search giant illicitly tracked their web browsing.

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17 August 2013

N.S.A. Calls Violations of Privacy 'Minuscule' New York Times

The top National Security Agency official charged with making sure analysts comply with rules protecting the privacy of Americans pushed back on Friday against reports that the N.S.A. had frequently violated privacy rules, after the publication of a leaked internal audit showing that there had been 2,776 such "incidents" in a one-year period.

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N.S.A. Often Broke Rules on Privacy, Audit Shows New York Times

The National Security Agency violated privacy rules protecting the communications of Americans and others on domestic soil 2,776 times over a one-year period, according to an internal audit leaked by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden and made public on Thursday night.

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15 August 2013

Google: don't expect privacy when sending to Gmail The Guardian

People sending email to any of Google's 425 million Gmail users have no "reasonable expectation" that their communications are confidential, the internet giant has said in a court filing.

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US and Germany to Enter No-spying Agreement, German Government Says CIO

The U.S. has verbally committed to enter into a no-spying agreement with Germany in the wake of disclosures about the U.S. National Security Agency's secret surveillance programs.

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Germany plans boost to European IT after U.S. spy row Reuters

Responding to Germans' unease over U.S. surveillance of the Internet, Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet agreed initial plans on Wednesday to boost European technology companies and make them a more favourable alternative to U.S. peers.

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13 August 2013

N.S.A. Leaks Make Plan for Cyberdefense Unlikely New York Times

Even while rapidly expanding its electronic surveillance around the world, the National Security Agency has lobbied inside the government to deploy the equivalent of a "Star Wars" defense for America's computer networks, designed to intercept cyberattacks before they could cripple power plants, banks or financial markets.

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What NSA reforms? Washington Post

President Obama's message about the government's massive electronic surveillance programs came through loud and clear: Get over it.

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The NSA Is Commandeering the Internet: Technology companies have to fight for their users, or they'll eventually lose them by Bruce Schneier The Atlantic

It turns out that the NSA's domestic and world-wide surveillance apparatus is even more extensive than we thought. Bluntly: The government has commandeered the Internet. Most of the largest Internet companies provide information to the NSA, betraying their users. Some, as we've learned, fight and lose. Others cooperate, either out of patriotism or because they believe it's easier that way.

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12 August 2013

NSA claims it 'touches' only 1.6 percent of Internet traffic CNET

Just hours after President Obama defended the National Security Agency's activities, the foreign surveillance agency released a document in which it claims to review only a small faction of Internet traffic on a daily basis.

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