A Federal court has ruled this week that the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Bulk Telephony Metadata Program (BTMP), is unconstitutional, putting the final nail in the coffin of this iteration of the NSA’s cellphone snooping.
Coincident with the Reset the Net effort, in which they are taking part, Google and Yahoo, along with Microsoft and Facebook, and others, are moving at speed to block the NSA’s snooping, and to tighten up their systems to make it more difficult for the NSA, and others, to eavesdrop on their data.
Turns out there is another reason for rejecting all those insidious game invitations from smartphone apps and their Facebook counterparts: the New York Times has revealed today that the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, are mining the data that your smartphone apps are generating, from location data, to contact lists, to phone logs and even the data embedded in images. Dubbed the “Mobile Surge” by the Brits, the intelligence community is giddy with glee over the trove of data served up by mobile apps.
In his speech regarding changes to the NSA’s Section 215 phone metadata collection and surveillance program, President Barack Obama stated outright, “I am ordering a transition that will end the section 215 bulk metadata program as it currently exists.” During his speech (full transcript below), President Obama also announced that the federal government will need to go to the the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) every time that they want to search data, rather than relying on previous orders.
The newest reveal about the NSA’s surveillance activities is the existance of the NSA Co-Traveler program, through which the NSA is tracking the location and movements of the majority of cell phones on the planet, relationship-mapping every cell phone with every other cell phone.
Newly released documents relating to the massive collection of the email data and metadata of regular non- “person of interest” citizens by the NSA, following Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have revealed, among other things, that the NSA was collecting (overcollecting, say some) the cc: and bcc: information (metadata) in emails being sent by millions of U.S. citizens.
Microsoft has disclosed that it has sought permission from the U.S. government to disclose to the public how it handles requests from the Federal government for user data. Microsoft says “We believe the U.S. Constitution guarantees our freedom to share more information with the public, yet the Government is stopping us.”
Just hours before his alleged disappearance from a Hong Kong hotel, Edward Snowden, an ex-CIA employee and NSA contractor working through Booz Allen Hamilton, outed himself as the whistleblower in the NSA PRISM scandal. In the 12-minute video interview posted on YouTube, Ed Snowden explained his reason for releasing the documents that revealed the PRISM program. Here is the transcript of that interview.
Edward Snowden has come forward as the whistleblower in the NSA and PRISM scandal in which it has been discovered that through the PRISM program, the NSA and other agencies have had access to user data at such major Internet companies as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Hotmail and Apple. In the 12+ minute interview, Edward Snowden explains why he did it, and admits that by outing himself, he puts himself in danger from agencies such as the CIA and the NSA itself.
The Internet, the country, and indeed the whole world is abuzz with the news of PRISM, the no-longer-secret program of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) first exposed by Glenn Greenwald of the British newspaper The Guardian, through which the United States federal government is accessing and mining all sorts of user data from the major ISPs and possibly cell phone companies. Data which is potentially about just about anybody and everybody, even you. The list of companies and ISPs alleged to be involved with PRISM, by which we mean allowing the government to data mine their users’ data, is impressive (read as “scary”) indeed, although most of them are quick to deny it. However, we have evidence (see screenshots below) that even though they are denying it, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, and AOL are all involved. There are rumours of DropBox and Amazon joining. And Verizon is also giving the Feds access to their user data. But as 1984 as this all is, we really only have one question: why is anybody surprised?
This week sees a lawsuit between the City of Chicago and the owner of the Chicago2016.com domain, between the RIAA and anti-RIAA blogger Ray Beckerman over his blog “Recording Industry v. The People”, and between the EFF and Bush and dog in Jewel v NSA. And for good measure, while not Internet-related, a lawsuit to keep both Obama and McCain off the Texas ballot.