Category Archives: Surveillance & Privacy

N.S.A. Phone Data Collection Is Illegal, A.C.L.U. Says

In a detailed legal attack on the National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ phone call data, the American Civil Liberties Union argued in court papers filed Monday that the sweeping data gathering violates the Constitution and should be halted.The A.C.L.U. cited the writings of George Orwell and the comprehensive East German surveillance portrayed in the film “The Lives of Others” in warning of the dangers of large-scale government intrusion into private lives. The new motion, elaborating on the A.C.L.U.’s arguments against the data collection, came in a federal lawsuit challenging the N.S.A. program that the group filed in June.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/us/nsa-phone-data-collection-is-illegal-aclu-says.html

Boom Triggered By NSA: German Email Services Report Surge in Demand

German email providers are enjoying a jump in demand following the NSA data surveillance scandal. Companies are beefing up their security features and promoting their accounts as being among the most secure in the world, thanks in part to strong privacy laws.In the wake of the NSA surveillance revelations, Internet users seem to have learned that as soon as their data reaches an American server, it could be read by the country’s intelligence services. German companies are benefiting from this realization — German email providers have seen a significant increase in new subscribers in recent weeks.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/growing-demand-for-german-email-providers-after-nsa-scandal-a-918651.html

Surveillance Revelations Shake U.S.-German Ties

Continuing revelations, based on documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden, of sweeping American digital surveillance around the world are rattling the close ties between the United States and Germany.In a country scarred by Nazi and Communist pasts, the issue is prompting not just a debate about privacy and data protection, but also demands from German officials that the Berlin-Washington security partnership be put on a new footing.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/26/world/europe/surveillance-revelations-shake-us-german-ties.html

Internet launches fightback against state snoopers

Key architects of the internet have started to fight back against US and UK snooping programmes by drawing up an ambitious plan to defend traffic over the world wide web against mass surveillance.The Internet Engineering Task Force, a body that develops internet standards, has proposed a system in which all communication between websites and browsers would be shielded by encryption.
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/ab28f708-0a7e-11e3-aeab-00144feabdc0.html

NSA Officers Spy on Love Interests

National Security Agency officers on several occasions have channeled their agency’s enormous eavesdropping power to spy on love interests, U.S. officials said.The practice isn’t frequent — one official estimated a handful of cases in the last decade — but it’s common enough to garner its own spycraft label: LOVEINT.
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/08/23/nsa-officers-sometimes-spy-on-love-interests/Also see:NSA analysts ‘wilfully violated’ surveillance systems, agency admits
The National Security Agency has admitted that some of its analysts deliberately abused its surveillance systems, with one analyst disciplined for using NSA resources to track a former spouse.The agency said Friday it had found “very rare instances of wilful violations of NSA’s authorities” as officials briefed reporters that various agents had used the NSA’s controversial data monitoring capabilities to spy on love interests.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/24/nsa-analysts-abused-surveillance-systems

Edward Snowden NSA files: secret surveillance and our revelations so far

In the 11 weeks since the Guardian published its first revelations from top-secret material leaked by the NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the paper has published more than 300 stories on the surveillance state and the political fallout from the revelations.The disclosures shed unprecedented light on the scale and sophistication of surveillance on both sides of the Atlantic – and the secret laws underpinning such programmes. As publication continued, the UK government brought substantial pressure to bear, leading to the Guardian’s decision to destroy a copy of the GCHQ documents: those stored in its London offices.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/21/edward-snowden-nsa-files-revelations

New Zealand appears to have used NSA spy network to target Kim Dotcom

A new examination of previously published affidavits from the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) — the New Zealand equivalent of the National Security Agency (NSA) — appears to suggest that the GCSB used the “Five Eyes” international surveillance network to capture the communications of Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload.The new analysis was posted by New Zealand journalist Keith Ng in a Thursday blog post. If the link proves to be true, it would seem that the NSA’s vast international surveillance capability can be turned against individuals unrelated to the NSA’s stated mission to aid military, counterintelligence, or counterterrorism objectives.
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/08/new-zealand-appears-to-have-used-nsa-spy-network-to-target-kim-dotcom/

NSA paid millions to cover Prism compliance costs for tech companies

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.The technology companies, which the NSA says includes Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook, incurred the costs to meet new certification demands in the wake of the ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Fisa) court.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/23/nsa-prism-costs-tech-companies-paid

UK government given Tuesday deadline over David Miranda data

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.Lord Justice Beatson and Judge Kenneth Parker said in a judgment outlining their decision to allow the police to continue accessing material taken from David Miranda that the ruling was made because while they could not judge the strength of the government’s claims about the national security risks the material would pose if disclosed, they did have “serious assertions by responsible persons”.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/23/government-david-miranda-data