NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

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Foggyone
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I'm Flagged as a "Potential Terrorist" - Are You?

Post by Foggyone » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:27 pm

If you have ever visited Linux Journal website ( http://www.linuxjournal.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ) you have been flagged as a potential terrorist!!

Linux Journal is a well respected source of Linux information, including ways to anonymise yourself on the internet. This is sufficient to have it's visitors (including yours truely) as needing extra tracking.

NSA: Linux Journal is an "extremist forum" and its readers get flagged for extra surveillance

Are you an extremist?

The relevant XKEYSCORE source code
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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by digidog » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:01 pm

After 9/11 Germany become the NSA's number one target nation, because some of the hijackers had lived in that country. Der Speigel has an interview with Snowden's lawyer Jesselyn Radack and former NSA spy turned whistleblower Thomas Drake. Drake says the NSA's "greed for data" takes the Stasi motto of "knowing everything" to a whole new level.
SPIEGEL: Germany's federal prosecutor has opened a formal inquiry into the surveillance of Angela Merkel's mobile phone, but he did not open an investigation into the mass surveillance of German citizens, saying that there was no evidence to do so. Mr. Drake, as a former NSA employee, what's your take on this?

Drake: It stretches the bounds of incredulity. Germany has become, after 9/11, the most important surveillance platform for the NSA abroad. The only German citizen granted protection by a statement by Barack Obama is Angela Merkel. All other Germans are obviously treated as suspects by the NSA.
Radack: If you're looking for a needle in a haystack, you don't make the haystack bigger. The US government is fear mongering when it claims: "If you're against surveillance, the next terrorist attack is on you!"

SPIEGEL: What is the true reason for the data collection?

Radack: It's about population control. And economic espionage.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/wor ... 79215.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Only a Matter of Time

Post by Foggyone » Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:40 pm

Government-grade malware in hacker hands
"Government-grade" malware, which lurks in computer systems undetected for long periods of time, is believed to be in the hands of hackers using it to make rootkits and ransomware more potent.

According to security researchers at Sentinel Labs, malware originally created for the purpose for government espionage, dubbed Gyges, is now undergoing a transformation as hackers are using the software to make their own rootkits and ransomware more sophisticated and harder to detect
This was always a likely outcome. Once again the heads up from Edward Snowden has alerted the security boffins, and enabled the detection of this malware.

Expect a tsunami of hard to detect malware coming to a Windows computer near you.
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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by digidog » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:15 am

A 166 page manual called "March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance" has been released on The Intercept. This Kafkaesque tome explains the reasons 19 US government agencies can use to add people to their airport terrorist watchlist. For example, you only need to be "suspected of associating with a person who is suspected of being under suspicion of being a terrorist", whatever that means. And the very word "terrorist" has been redefined to include "people who damage government property," and people who seek to "influence government policy through intimidation." Oh dear!

If it wasn't so serious it would be funny, however millions of people have been placed under suspicion by these agencies using these very ill-defined criteria. The manual allows people to be put under suspicion without any "concrete facts" - just a gut feeling, and it establishes thresholds as low as one single uncorroborated tweet or Facebook post.

America... the land of the free, run by the incompetent and the paranoid.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/docu ... -guidance/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by Foggyone » Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:13 pm

McCarthyism

Talk about same old same old!

And remember, just looking at this innocuous page can get you onto a list (see above for more info)
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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by digidog » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:06 pm

If you thought the GCSB legislation was better suited to a banana republic than to our humble nation, just check out what the Aussies have in mind.
Edward Snowden's lawyer has labelled as "draconian" and "chilling" Abbott government legislation before parliament that would threaten ASIO leakers with 10years' imprisonment and make it an offence for journalists to report on information they receive from whistleblowers.

Lawyer Jesselyn Radack, who is travelling in Australia, told the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne on Tuesday night that the laws being proposed by Attorney-General George Brandis went too far.

"That law is so draconian and would be so chilling in terms of freedom of the press," Radack said. "It would criminalise a reporter talking to a source.

"It's the most draconian thing I've seen and it is completely antithetical to a free and open democratic society … I find it very disturbing that Australia's entertaining this kind of legislation and that there hasn't been a greater outcry, especially from the press."

http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digit ... s-law.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by digidog » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:00 am

Lucky little New Zealand! We probably have the world's nastiest spying tools, courtesy of the NSA.
The most instrusive and powerful tools in the United States' electronic spying armoury were being lined up for installation in New Zealand last year, according to a document obtained by the Herald.

An engineer visited a GCSB base near Blenheim in February 2013 to talk about setting up a "Special Source Operations" site.

The SSO is the division of the United States' National Security Agency which carries out cable tapping and has vast resources to trawl and capture massive amounts of internet content and electronic communication.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... d=11302656" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Whether they're being operated by the NSA or our own spooks, having the tools for this level of surveillance in our country should raise alarm bells with anyone interested in basic freedoms. Or have we perhaps surrendered those already?

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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by digidog » Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:56 am

Julian Assange has published a book this week called "When Google Met WikiLeaks" in which he criticises Google's corporate agenda. While Wikileaks were protecting whistleblowers, Google was taking payment from the NSA to reveal private information.
Assange said: “Compare the mission statements of Google and the NSA – the NSA, who literally say, ‘We want to collect all private information, pool it, store it, sort it, index it, and exploit it.’ Whereas Google says, ‘We want to collect all private information, pool it, store it, sort it, and sell those profiles to advertisers.’ Really, they’re almost identical.”

He said, “Every time you go to a party and take a picture and post that picture to Facebook, you’re being a rat. You’re being a narc.”

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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by digidog » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:17 pm

The Guardian has an interesting story called State surveillance is enabled by our own sloppy habits which points out how lax most users really are when it comes to protecting their online privacy. This tale of a small experiment is revealing.

A team from F-Secure set up a Wi-Fi hotspot in London which offered free wi-fi to anyone in the vicinity who was willing to accept the terms and conditions under which the service was offered. One of these T&C clauses read as follows:
YOUR FIRST-BORN CHILD: In using this service, you agree to relinquish your first-born child to F-Secure, as and when the company requires it. In the event that no children are produced, your most beloved pet will be taken instead. The terms of this agreement stand for eternity.
Guess what? Every single person clicked “accept”. The Guardian concludes...
Could it be that the reason there has been so little public fuss about the Snowden revelations (with some notable exceptions, mainly Germany) is because everybody feels compromised, to a greater or lesser extent, by their online behaviour. Sure, in principle, we think it’s creepy that Google reads our mail, that Facebook monitors our relationships and that the spooks have a log of everything we’ve ever read on the web, but, hey, the services are free and the security services are unlikely to be interested in little old us.

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The Latest is a Doozy!!

Post by Foggyone » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:04 pm

Have the NSA and GCHQ got the secret key from YOUR phone sim-CARD? LIKELY
A joint unit of electronic spooks set up by America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ hacked the world's biggest SIM card manufacturer to harvest the encryption keys needed to silently and effortlessly eavesdrop on people without cooperation from mobile networks.

That's according to documents obtained by surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden and leaked to the web on Thursday.

"Wow. This is huge – it's one of the most significant findings of the Snowden files so far," computer security guru Bruce Schneier told The Register this afternoon.

"We always knew that they would occasionally steal SIM keys. But all of them? The odds that they just attacked this one firm are extraordinarily low and we know the NSA does like to steal keys where it can."

The damning slides, published by Snowden's chums at The Intercept, detail the activities of the as-yet unheard-of Mobile Handset Exploitation Team (MHET), run by the US and UK. The group targeted Gemalto, which churns out about two billion SIM cards each year for use around the world, and targeted it in an operation dubbed DAPINO GAMMA.
That will stir up the mobile phone folks, methinks!
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The Cost

Post by Foggyone » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:32 pm

I've written in the past about the possible costs of this spying.

It's official: NSA spying is hurting the US tech economy
China is no longer using high-profile US technology brands for state purchases, amid ongoing revelations about mass surveillance and hacking by the US government.

A new report confirmed key brands, including Cisco, Apple, Intel, and McAfee -- among others -- have been dropped from the Chinese government's list of authorized brands, a Reuters report said Wednesday.

The number of approved foreign technology brands fell by a third, based on an analysis of the procurement list. Less than half of those companies with security products remain on the list.

Although a number of reasons were cited, domestic companies were said to offer "more product guarantees" than overseas rivals in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks. Some reports have attempted to pin a multi-billion dollar figure on the impact of the leaks.

In reality, the figure could be incalculable.


The report confirms what many US technology companies have been saying for the past year: the activities by the NSA are harming their businesses in crucial growth markets, including China.
This loss will be ongoing for years, perhaps decades.
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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by digidog » Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:48 am

Aha! That explains why US spy chief James Clapper proclaimed yesterday that cyber-attacks were actually a greater threat to the world than terrorism. While he cited Russia and China as the bad guys, naturally he failed to mention that the US government is the biggest cyber-terrorist organisation in the world. Karma can be a bastard!

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Re: Snail Mail Recorded Too!

Post by digidog » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:36 am

Foggyone wrote:The U.S. Postal Service, an independent agency of the U.S. federal government, photographed the exterior of about 160 billion pieces of mail it processed last year under a secret surveillance program first introduced in the wake of anthrax attacks in 2001, according to a new report.
That little gem was reported back in July 2013. It seems the the US Postal Service has moved on apace in its efforts to surveil citizens. A TV station in Denver discovered a hidden camera which had been positioned to capture and record license plates and facial features of customers leaving the Post Office. Within hours of the story breaking, the device was ripped from the ground and disappeared. The US Post Office works in mysterious ways!

http://kdvr.com/2015/03/11/mysterious-s ... t-offices/

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Re: NSA spying, Edward Snowden, GCSB bill

Post by Foggyone » Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:41 pm

In the latest tot up of the cost of revelations of NSA spying, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) said in a new report Tuesday that the tech industry will likely "far exceed" the group's initial estimate of losing up to $35 billion.

Short term losses are sales not being made, longer term is protectionist barriers being erected.

The cost of spying is very high indeed.

Source article.
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Scapegoat

Post by digidog » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:26 pm

Yesterday the Sunday Times (UK) ran a startling story claiming that both Russia and China had somehow accessed the top-secret Snowden documents. They cite unknown sources claiming their spies had been endangered and British and UK security suffered as a result. Strong stuff which has been picked up and parrotted by the world's media. However something here just doesn't ring true.

Snowden has always said that he handed over the entire cache of documents to journalists in Hong Kong. The whole world now knows that Glenn Greenwald was the recipient and the information he released has exposed the true extent of UK and US surveillance on friends and foe alike. So how could the Chinese and Russians have obtained any of those documents?

UK spooks have made similar allegations in the past. They initially claimed that Snowden was a Chinese spy. Then he was a Russian spy. The US claimed 56 terror plots had been foiled because of their surveillance, but soon backed down and confirmed this was a blatant lie. So why have these new claims suddenly emerged?

The Guardian suggests that the "Anderson report" on surveillance released in the UK last week may be to blame. Conducted by a respected QC, the report is highly critical of the existing surveillance, describing it as "intolerable and undemocratic". Anderson went further to suggest that authority to approve surveillance warrants should be transferred from British politicians to the judiciary. Cameron and Co were not happy. The resulting tactics of distract and confuse are straight out of the Crosby Textor manual.

What does Glenn Greenwald have to say about the latest smear against Snowden? Wrting in the Intercept he describes the Times' story as a "self-negating joke".
Unless he cooked an extra-juicy steak, how does Snowden “have blood on his hands” if there is “no evidence of anyone being harmed?” As one observer put it last night in describing the government instructions these Sunday Times journalists appear to have obeyed: “There’s no evidence anyone’s been harmed but we’d like the phrase ‘blood on his hands’ somewhere in the piece.”

The whole article does literally nothing other than quote anonymous British officials. It gives voice to banal but inflammatory accusations that are made about every whistleblower from Daniel Ellsberg to Chelsea Manning. It offers zero evidence or confirmation for any of its claims. The “journalists” who wrote it neither questioned any of the official assertions nor even quoted anyone who denies them. It’s pure stenography of the worst kind: some government officials whispered these inflammatory claims in our ears and told us to print them, but not reveal who they are, and we’re obeying. Breaking!
It's well worth reading his story.
The Sunday Times’ Snowden Story is Journalism at its Worst — and Filled with Falsehoods

The Guardian also points to a serious inaccuracy in the Times' story.
The Sunday Times also reports that “David Miranda, the boyfriend of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was seized at Heathrow in 2013 in possession of 58,000 ‘highly-classified’ intelligence documents after visiting Snowden in Moscow”.

This is inaccurate. Miranda had in fact been in Berlin seeing the film-maker Laura Poitras, not in Moscow visiting Snowden. It is not a small point.

The claim about Miranda having been in Moscow first appeared in the Daily Mail in September under the headline “An intelligence expert’s devastating verdict: Leaks by Edward Snowden and the Guardian have put British hostages in even greater peril”. It was written by Professor Anthony Glees, the director of the centre for security and intelligence studies at the University of Buckingham, and has never been corrected. Maybe the Sunday Times can do better.
Just as Snowden was becoming a hero in the minds of most thinking people, Murdoch's flagship paper has published a bunch of unsubstantiated lies from conveniently anonymous "sources", designed to distract from the real issues created by the people who bought you Five Eyes.

Spying is a dirty world. Politics is even dirtier.

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