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NSA parody T-shirt

Congress guts law to restrict NSA spying, civil liberty groups appalled

Civil liberties groups have reacted angrily after Congress changed key provisions in the USA FREEDOM Act before submitting it to a full vote by the House of Representatives, scheduled for Thursday. "This legislation was designed to prohibit bulk collection, but has been made so weak that it fails to adequately protect against …
Iain Thomson, 21 May 2014
Barack Obama in the Oval Office

Microsoft: NSA security fallout 'getting worse' ... 'not blowing over'

Microsoft's top lawyer says the fallout of the NSA spying scandal is "getting worse," and carries grim implications for US tech companies. In a speech at the GigaOm Structure conference in San Francisco on Thursday, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith warned attendees that unless the US political establishment figures out how …
Jack Clark, 19 Jun 2014
The NSA Unchained

Modern spying 101: How NSA bugs Chinese PCs with tiny USB radios - NYT

The NSA has compromised almost 100,000 computers around the world in its quest to get its tentacles into air-gapped computers operated by adversaries such as the Chinese Army. The revelation was made by the New York Times in a report published on Tuesday based on documents released by Edward Snowden. The spy agency has …
Jack Clark, 15 Jan 2014

NSA man says agency can track you through POWER LINES

Forensics and industry experts have cast doubt on an alleged National Security Agency capability to locate whistle blowers appearing in televised interviews based on how the captured background hum of electrical devices affects energy grids. Divining information from electrified wires is a known technique: Network Frequency …
Darren Pauli, 03 Jul 2014

NSA refuses to deny spying on members of Congress

The NSA has refused to confirm or deny that it is collecting information on the communications and email activities of members of Congress after being questioned directly by Bernie Sanders, one of two of the Senate's only independents*. "Has the NSA spied, or is the NSA currently spying, on members of Congress or other America …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jan 2014

That NSA denial in full: As of right now, we're not pretending to be Facebook or Twitter

Inaccurate. That's how US spy hive the NSA today branded claims that it "has infected millions of computers around the world with malware," and that it "is impersonating US social media or other websites" to eavesdrop on people. The clandestine espionage operation hit back at the allegations by issuing a statement [PDF] on …
Team Register, 14 Mar 2014
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

NSA collects up to FIVE BILLION mobile phone locations daily

The NSA is maintaining a mobile device tracking program that logs up to five billion updates per day around the world, according to a new report. The Washington Post, citing government sources and documents leaked by Edward Snowden, reports that the US intelligence agency has built a massive database of locational information …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Dec 2013
snowden SXSW

NSA 'hunted sysadmins' to find CAT PHOTOS, high-level passwords

Staff at the United States' National Security Agency reportedly “hunted” system administrators because they felt doing so would yield passwords that enabled easier surveillance. So says The Intercept, which claims this document came its way thanks to one E. Snowden, late of Moscow. The document is apparently a lift from an …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Mar 2014
Photo by Adam Hart-Davis

IBM hid China's reaction to NSA spying 'cos it cost us BILLIONS, rages angry shareholder

An IBM shareholder is suing Big Blue, accusing it of hiding the fact that its ties to the NSA spying scandal cost it business in China – and wiped billions off its market value. The Louisiana Sheriffs' Pensions and Relief Fund has filed the suit in New York, claiming that Big Blue "misrepresented and concealed" that its …

Verizon, BT, Vodafone, Level 3 'let NSA jack into Google, Yahoo! fiber'

In October, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden claimed Uncle Sam's spies tapped into the optic-fiber cables linking the data centers of Google and Yahoo! By intercepting this flow of information, agents were able to spy on folks' online activities on a massive scale. Google and Yahoo! insisted they did not hand over the keys to …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Nov 2013
NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden

The NSA's hiring - and they want a CIVIL LIBERTIES officer

Infamous US spy agency the NSA is looking to appoint a Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer. The challenging position is an internal posting, aimed at potential candidates who already work at the top secret spy agency. The new role parcels separate responsibilities of NSA's existing Civil Liberties and Privacy (CL/P) protection …
John Leyden, 24 Sep 2013
NSA parody T-shirt

Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers

A former White House security advisor has suggested that you, dear reader, are naive if you think hosting data outside of the US will protect a business from the NSA. "NSA and any other world-class intelligence agency can hack into databases even if they not in the US," said former White House security advisor Richard Clarke in …
Jack Clark, 24 Feb 2014
Obama outlines NSA reforms

Obama reveals tiny NSA reforms ... aka reforming your view of the NSA

President Obama has today outlined his plans to tweak the rules under which US intelligence services monitor their own population and citizens of countries around the world. Obama outlines NSA reforms Trust us, we're Americans "As the nation that developed the Internet, the world expects us to ensure that the digital …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jan 2014

NSA.gov goes down after ‘error during scheduled update’

The USA’s National Security Agency (NSA), lately the source of near-endless controversy for spying on just about the entire internet, has itself hit trouble online after its website went down. The agency has ‘fessed up to some website wobbles last Friday, but has issued a statement to all and sundry that says “an internal error …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Oct 2013

Snowden docs: NSA building encryption-cracking quantum computer

The latest document stash from whistle-blower Edward Snowden shows that the NSA has budgeted $79.7m for the development of a quantum computer capable of "owning the net." "The Owning the Net (OTN) Project provides the technological means for NSA/CSS to gain access to and securely return high value target communications," one …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jan 2014

Microsoft: NSA snooping? Code backdoors? Our hands are clean!

Microsoft's isn't involved in mass spying or putting backdoors in its software, Redmond's VP of Trustworthy Computing Group Scott Charney told the RSA conference. Why? Because it's unethical and bad for business, he said. "We've not been concerned about the Snowden disclosures because we've been principled," he said. "We do …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2014
NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden

Snowden: 'I have data on EVERY NSA operation against China'

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has claimed he taught a course in “cyber-counterintelligence” against China and has access to data on every active operation mounted against the People’s Republic by the US spy agency. In a lengthy interview with the New York Times, Snowden revealed more about his time at the National Security …
Phil Muncaster, 18 Oct 2013

Schneier: NSA snooping tactics will be copied by criminals in 3 to 5 years

If you thought NSA snooping was bad, you ain't seen nothing yet: online criminals have also been watching and should soon be able to copy the agency's invasive surveillance tactics, according to security guru Bruce Schneier. "The NSA techniques give about a three to five year lead on what cyber-criminals will do," he told an …
Iain Thomson, 26 Feb 2014
NSA's Fort Meade headquarters

US government names new head of NSA and US Cyber Command

The Secretary of Defense has appointed new leadership for the NSA, the Central Security Service, and the US Cyber Command, with Vice Admiral Michael Rogers as the new boss and Richard Ledgett as his civilian deputy. Vice Admiral Rogers is currently head of the US Navy's 10th Fleet, which in the Second World War handled anti- …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jan 2014
Obama and Mark Zuckerberg, Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Facebook's Zuckerberg buttonholes Obama, rages against NSA dragnet spying

Mark Zuckerberg is furious with US President Barack Obama, who - metaphorically, at least - clasped his hands over his ears and repeatedly said to himself "I can't hear you" when the Facebook boss tried to grumble about spies spying on people. The free content ad network supremo said in a public post on Facebook that he was fed …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Mar 2014
eyeofSauron

F-Secure's Hypponen leads RSA refuseniks to NSA-free infosec chatfest

It was probably inevitable: a group of RSA Conference refuseniks have established a rival conference within walking distance of the original. The one-day TrustyCon, to be held on 27 February at the AMC Metreon Theatre in San Francisco, has drawn Mikko Hypponen as its keynote, giving “The talk I was going to give at RSA”. So far …
NSA's Fort Meade headquarters

NSA, UK hacked Yahoo! and Google data center interconnects – report

British and US intelligence agencies managed to tap into the connections between data centers run by Yahoo! and Google, and in one month this year slurped 181,280,466 records, including metadata and the contents of communications, according to new documents from Edward Snowden. A report dated January 9, 2013, from NSA’s …
Iain Thomson, 31 Oct 2013

How much did NSA pay to put a backdoor in RSA crypto? Try $10m – report

The mystery of why RSA would use a flawed, NSA-championed algorithm as the default random number generator for several of its encryption products appears to be solved, and the answer is utterly banal, if true: the NSA paid it to. Reuters reports that RSA received $10m from the NSA in exchange for making the agency-backed Dual …
Neil McAllister, 21 Dec 2013
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

NSA, GCHQ, accused of hacking Belgian smartcard crypto guru

Professor Jean-Jacques Quisquater, a Belgian cryptographer whose work is said to have informed card payment systems worldwide, has reportedly become the victim of a spear-phishing attack by the NSA and/or GCHQ. Belgium's De Standaaard reports that Professor Quisquater clicked on a fake LinkedIn invitation that infected his …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Feb 2014
The Register breaking news

United Nations to grill US over alleged NSA bugging of its HQ – report

The United Nations has said that it plans to contact the US over a report that the NSA had bugged its New York headquarters. Germany's Der Spiegel, citing secret documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, reported on Sunday that the US had "cracked the encryption" of the internal video conferencing system at the UN in …

Rand Paul launches class-action lawsuit to end NSA phone spying

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed a lawsuit against President Obama and three top national security officials, seeking an end to what the suit describes as the US government's "mass, suspicionless, non-particularized" collection of data on US residents' phone calls. "The Bill of Rights protects all citizens from general …
Neil McAllister, 13 Feb 2014

'Peeping while you're sleeping' NSA parody T-shirt ban BACKFIRES

Designers of a parody T-shirt mocking the NSA launched a successful crowdfunding campaign after being denied permission to sell it through custom goods marketplace Zazzle. Dan McCall, founder of politically themed T-shirt company Liberty Maniacs, came up with an NSA-themed T-shirt that described the NSA as "the only part of the …
John Leyden, 04 Sep 2013
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

Snowden: Hey fellow NSA worker, mind if I copy your PASSWORD?

Edward Snowden persuaded his NSA colleagues to hand over passwords which he later used to download top secret material and leak it to the press. According to a report on Reuters, the whistleblower cribbed login details from up to 25 co-workers, who have now all been questioned and moved on to different jobs. It is not known how …
Jasper Hamill, 08 Nov 2013
eyeofSauron

IETF plans to NSA-proof all future internet protocols

The IETF has taken the next small step down the long, long road of protecting user traffic from spooks, snoops and attackers, setting down the basic architectural principle that new protocols should resist monitoring. It's not going to be a trivial undertaking: practically every layer of the Internet protocol stack has its …
eyeofSauron

RSA comes out swinging at claims it took NSA's $10m to backdoor crypto

RSA has hit back at allegations stemming from Edward Snowden's latest whistleblowing – specifically, the claim that it secretly took US$10m from the NSA in exchange for using the deliberately knackered Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator (Dual EC DRBG) in its encryption products. The EMC-owned security outfit …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2013

Tech giants KNEW about PRISM, web snooping, claims top NSA lawyer

The NSA's general counsel Rajesh De says technology firms were fully aware of both America's web surveillance program PRISM and the mass monitoring of upstream internet traffic. On Wednesday, De told a meeting in Washington, organized by the US government's Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), that data …
Iain Thomson, 20 Mar 2014

Right, that's IT: We'll encrypt INTERNAL traffic to thwart NSA - Yahoo

Yahoo! is going to start encrypting its intra-data-center traffic and will offer a similar service as an option to webmail users next year, CEO Marissa Meyer has pledged. "I want to reiterate what we have said in the past: Yahoo has never given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency. Ever," she …
Iain Thomson, 18 Nov 2013
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

HOLD THE PHONE, NSA! Judge bans 'Orwellian' US cellphone records slurp

A US federal judge has ordered the NSA to stop collecting the mobile phone records of innocent American citizens – and to destroy the files already amassed. Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed in June that the controversy-hit spy agency harvests call metadata from telco giant Verizon – sparking a lawsuit by lawyer Larry …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Dec 2013
Silverlit Spy Cam sample shot

NSA: Yes, some of our spooks DID snoop on overseas lovers

NSA spooks used top secret surveillance techniques to snoop on their partners and check out prospective lovers, according to an official admission made to a US senator. A letter from NSA inspector general Dr. George Ellard reveals that spies "intentionally misused" signals intelligence (SIGINT) techniques to gather information …
Jasper Hamill, 30 Sep 2013
Senator Joe McCarthy, of "Reds under the bed" infamy

Snowden leaks latest: NSA, FBI g-men spied on Muslim-American chiefs

New documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden confirm that the NSA and the FBI spy on Muslim-American leaders, including Republican Party politicians and military veterans. The Intercept reports that the Feds are using tactics and techniques intended for catching terrorists and spies to monitor the email accounts of prominent …
John Leyden, 09 Jul 2014
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

Europe, SAVE US! Patriot Act author begs for help to curb NSA spying

US House Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, the lead author of controversial anti-terror law the Patriot Act, has asked the European Parliament for help in taming the NSA. He also called for Europe to put pressure on the US to change its legislation and bring a halt to the spy agency's planet-wide communications data-slurping …
Iain Thomson, 13 Nov 2013

NSA admits slurping thousands of domestic emails with no terror connection

The analysts at the NSA spent years gathering tens of thousands of emails between US citizens in violation of the US constitution, as a component of a single (discontinued) data slurping program, the agency has revealed. These emails were from people with no direct connection to terrorism, according to a secret opinion from the …
Jack Clark, 21 Aug 2013
Angry Birds Rio

Angry anti-NSA hackers pwn Angry Birds site after GCHQ data slurp

Anti-NSA hackers defaced ‪Rovio's official Angry Birds website ‬on Tuesday night as a reprisal against revelations that GCHQ and the NSA were feasting on data leaked from the popular smartphone game. Spying Birds: Angry Birds defaced by irritated hackers. Angrybirds.com became "Spying Birds" as a result of the defacement (Zone …
John Leyden, 29 Jan 2014

John Kerry bombshell: 'Yes, the NSA... reached TOO FAR, inappropriately'

US Secretary of State John Kerry has issued a rare mea culpa on behalf of the US government and its NSA surveillance platforms. Speaking at a panel discussion for the Open Government Partnership, Kerry said that in its efforts to thwart terrorists, the US had gone "too far" in its collection of personal data, but insisted that …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Nov 2013
NSA's Fort Meade headquarters

NSA: It's TRUE, we grab 200 MILLION of your text messages A DAY globally

Documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden have detailed the operation of an NSA system called Dishfire that collects, stores and analyzes 200 million text messages a day from around the world. dishfire Dishfire ... Here's what your text messages tell the snoops (Source: Guardian/Snowden) According to two slides …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jan 2014
big droplets falling from rain cloud

NSA, GCHQ spies have hurt us more than they know – cloud group

The PRISM revelations – that governments monitor their own citizens as well as those in other countries – have undermined business confidence in moving to the cloud. This is according to the UK-based Cloud Industry Forum, which conducted an annual survey of 250 private and public sector organisations and noted a reverse in …
Paul Kunert, 02 Jul 2014
NSA's Fort Meade headquarters

NSA's Project Marina stores EVERYONE'S metadata for A YEAR

New details from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have shown the existence of Project Marina, a metadata collection system that collects details on the activity of almost all internet users, regardless of whether they are legitimate subjects for enquiry or not. The US government has always insisted that – as far as possible – …
Iain Thomson, 30 Sep 2013
Empty racks awaiting customer kit at HP's Aurora data centre

NSA: 'Dozens of attacks' prevented by snooping

The National Security Agency has defended its slurping of phone records and other business data on the grounds the information contained has helped it fight terrorism. In a congressional hearing on cybersecurity and government surveillance on Tuesday, NSA Director General Keith Alexander said the NSA's data slurping had let it …
Jack Clark, 12 Jun 2013

US govt watchdog slams NSA snooping as illegal, useless against terrorism

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, a federal panel set up to advise the US government on policy, has published report concluding that the bulk collection of data on US citizens by the NSA is illegal and ineffective at stopping terrorism. "Based on the information provided to the board, including classified …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jan 2014
The NSA Unchained

Tuesday declared 'The Day we Fight Back' against NSA et al

A broad coalition of technology companies and activist groups has declared Tuesday, February 11th 2014 has been “The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance”. Timed to co-incide with the first anniversary of Aaron Swartz's death, the day has attracted support from some unsurprising sources – the Electronic Frontier …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Feb 2014
The NSA Unchained

NSA justifies hacking world's digital communications

The NSA has published a statement explaining why US spies have been studying, infiltrating, and subverting so many of the digital technologies upon which people depend. The statement, "Why the Intelligence Community Seeks to Understand Online Communication Tools & Technologies", was published by the US Office of the Director of …
Jack Clark, 04 Oct 2013
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

Snowden: I'll swap you my anti-NSA knowhow for asylum ... Brazil says: Não

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has apparently offered Brazil help in uncovering US surveillance of the South American nation – in a fresh plea for asylum. In an open letter published today by the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, it appears Snowden reckons he can assist in sniffing out NSA spying and protect peeps from …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Dec 2013
neelie kroes

Steelie Neelie: ICANN think of more 'credible' rules for internet. (Cough *NSA* cough)

EU vice president Neelie Kroes wants the US to slacken its grip on how the internet is managed in the aftermath of revelations about mass surveillance of innocent citizens. She said today that reform was needed to make internet governance more inclusive, transparent and accountable around the globe, with particular emphasis …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Feb 2014
John McCain

I want NSA chief's head on a plate for Merkelgate, storms Senator McCain

John McCain, the US senator who lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential elections, wants General Keith Alexander, head of the NSA and US Cyber Command, to resign over revelations that US spies bugged the telephone of Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel. In a strongly worded interview with Der Spiegel McCain blamed "the head …
Iain Thomson, 11 Nov 2013

NIST denies it weakened its encryption standard to please the NSA

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has vehemently denied accusations that it deliberately weakened encryption standards to help the NSA's monitoring activities. "We want to assure the IT cybersecurity community that the transparent, public process used to rigorously vet our standards is still in place …
Iain Thomson, 11 Sep 2013