Feeds

US privacy group sues NSA for Echelon info

Yeah, now we got 'em on the run...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

US National Security Agency officials may or may not be shaking in their boots in response to a recent onslaught of public interest in their alleged activities. In past months, the US Congress has cast a jaundiced eye on the Agency and may bring it somewhat to heel in the next session; and the American Civil Liberties Union has launched a Web site called Echelon Watch, which posts information and fairly responsible speculation on NSA's global eavesdropping network. Now the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed suit in federal court demanding public disclosure of internal NSA documents addressing the legality of the Agency's intelligence activities. "The charter of the National Security Agency does not authorise domestic intelligence gathering. Yet we have reason to believe that the NSA is engaged in the indiscriminate acquisition and interception of domestic communications taking place over the Internet," EPIC director Marc Rotenberg said via a press release issued Friday to mark the happy occasion. One issue is the unknown technique by which the NSA sifts the global electronic cloud for information it needs, and is entitled to gather. The Agency has refused to disclose the details on grounds that doing so would compromise its effectiveness; but critics suspect that this argument merely conceals the fact that the technology is inadequate to safeguard the privacy of ordinary citizens. We would not be surprised to find that such is the case. Still, we wonder what EPIC hopes to gain with this suit, beyond a bit of negative PR directed against an Agency which has already proven itself cheerfully insensitive to such pressures. It is highly unlikely that a judge would order the public release of internal NSA documents, though one might wish to examine them in chambers. This provides an interesting publicity situation for the NSA, which, if it were cleared of wrongdoing by the court, would nevertheless remain the favourite straw-ghoul of conspiracy theorists, whose paranoid delusions extend eagerly to encompass the entire federal judicial system. Indeed, a positive court finding would only reinforce fears that the NSA's malevolent power reaches all the way to the top. It is entirely possible that the Agency welcomes such speculation, if, as we suspect, its reputation as a lot of Bad Muthas derives more from the fears of the unbalanced than from its own record of accomplishment. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.