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NSA slides and the PRISM data-collection program

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NSA scandal: what data is being monitored and how does it work?

SIGINT - Liste des programmes/outils de la NSA | Skhaen / U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show. Additionally, under an extensive effort code-named GENIE, U.S. computer specialists break into foreign networks so that they can be put under surreptitious U.S. control. Budget documents say the $652 million project has placed “covert implants,” sophisticated malware transmitted from far away, in computers, routers and firewalls on tens of thousands of machines every year, with plans to expand those numbers into the millions. The documents provided by Snowden and interviews with former U.S. officials describe a campaign of computer intrusions that is far broader and more aggressive than previously understood.

The Obama administration treats all such cyber-operations as clandestine and declines to acknowledge them. The scope and scale of offensive operations represent an evolution in policy, which in the past sought to preserve an international norm against acts of aggression in cyberspace, in part because U.S. economic and military power depend so heavily on computers. ‘The ROC’

The slides

NSA backdoors in products. Russian Researchers Uncover Sophisticated NSA Malware. Over the weekend Russian IT security vendor Kaspersky Lab released a report about a new family of malware dubbed "The Equation Family". The software appears, from Kaspersky's description, to be some of the most advanced malware ever seen. It is composed of several different pieces of software, which Kaspersky Lab reports work together and have been infecting computer users around the world for over a decade.

It appears that specific techniques and exploits developed by the Equation Group were later used by the authors of Stuxnet, Flame, and Regin. The report alleges that the malware has significant commonalities with other programs that have been attributed to Western intelligence agencies; Reuters subsequently released an article about the report in which an anonymous former NSA employee claims that the malware was directly developed by the NSA. Among the most interesting and advanced features of the malware is its ability to compromise and rewrite hard drive firmware.

NSA Accesses Smartphone Data

Affaire Snowden, la NSA va remplacer 90% de ses informaticiens p. A Taxonomy of PRISM Possibilities. What We Don't Know About Spying on Citizens: Scarier Than What W. The NSA: Even Worse Than You Think! Le Petit Journal du 23/09 - Ras-le-bol. I Spent Two Hours Talking With the NSA's Bigwigs. Here's What Has Them Mad | Threat Level. My expectations were low when I asked the National Security Agency to cooperate with my story on the impact of Edward Snowden’s leaks on the tech industry. During the 1990s, I had been working on a book, Crypto, which dove deep into cryptography policy, and it took me years — years! — to get an interview with an employee crucial to my narrative.

I couldn't quote him, but he provided invaluable background on the Clipper Chip, an ill-fated NSA encryption runaround that purported to strike a balance between protecting personal privacy and maintaining national security. Oh, and I was not permitted to interview my Crypto source at the agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. I was crushed; I had grown obsessed with the vaunted triple fence surrounding the restricted area and had climactic hopes that I’d get inside.

This time around, the NSA’s initial comeback was discouraging. Um, yes. Why the turnaround? They really hate Snowden. Once inside, however, the scene became more cinematic. NSA Agents Told To Withhold Target Information From Those In Charge Of Oversight. There's so much information that's coming out of last night's Washington Post bombshell that just continues to yield incredible information about what defenders of these programs have been saying as compared to what's actually happening.

Here's another one. One of the documents released with the report, via Ed Snowden, shows that NSA agents were directly told to give their overseers as little information as possible. The document explains to agents the process for justifying why they were requesting targeting (i.e., a more detailed look concerning an individual or group -- not just at that person's communications, but potentially anyone even remotely connected to them), and makes it clear that they are to give the bare minimum necessary to fulfill their reporting requirements, but not even the slightest bit beyond that.

In fact, they're told to give a single short sentence, and to make sure it includes no "extraneous information. "

PRISM: The real concern is that governments may not be breaking

TV Message by Snowden Says Privacy Still Matters. Secret NSA spy programs exposed at conference in Germany. NSA collect of millions of photos. A Tale of Two NSA Leaks One is unsurprising, and damaging. Snowden’s biggest revelation: We don’t know what power is anymore, nor do we care. By Mark Ames On December 29, 2013 It’s been a busy end of 2013 for the Snowden/NSA story: a pair of conflicting judicial rulings on the legality or illegality of the NSA’s phone surveillance program; an Obama-appointed panel recommending mild NSA reforms, including scaling back the NSA’s phone metadata vacuuming program; a rare and remarkably unrevealing interview with Snowden in the Washington Post, in which Snowden declared “Mission Accomplished”; followed up by a rather sad “Snowden Xmas Message” aired on Britain’s Channel 4; and more sensational revelations about the NSA spying on our closest allies, published last Friday in the New York Times, Guardian, and Der Spiegel.

That the US and Britain spy on our allies (and on each other) is not in and of itself a shocking revelation, but this is more important than mere novelty. What matters most about the Snowden leaks is what will come of them, and what we’ll do with them, if anything. The US NatSec State learned even less. Sen.

Wiebe: Who broke the law, Snowden or NSA?

Related collections NSA/PRISM. Former NSA agent tweets 21 rules of syping. How the NSA, and your boss, can intercept and break SSL. The NSA Can Only Spy With A Little Help From Its Feds. This week the ACLU published a damning report chronicling the many ways the FBI has abused post-9/11 authorities to spy on everyday Americans. As we noted, the FBI is even enmeshed in the broad suspicionless NSA dragnet of American phone calls. One area that is especially ripe for FBI reform is its use of electronic surveillance tools. There's no two ways about it: the FBI is at the heart of the U.S. intelligence community's domestic data collection programs. The most recent example is that the FBI applies for secret court orders to compel companies to give the U.S. military's spy agency the NSA all of their customers' domestic phone records. This means the FBI helps the military, which is traditionally barred from collecting information about Americans, to get all the telephone records of almost everyone in the U.S., even if they aren't suspected of being a terrorist or a spy or in contact with someone who is.

The executive branch could not be clearer.

Web Inventor Speaks Out On PRISM

The NSA files | World news. Campaign notebook: 2006: the US bank data scandal and the Great- Government surveillance programs renew debate about oversight. NYorker OUR REFLECTION IN THE N.S.A.’S PRISM. b444b0a8-4436-4802-921e-5c3177bfc0eb-460x276.jpeg 460×276 pixels. Evolution of the PRISM. denials. Through a PRISM darkly: Tracking the ongoing NSA surveillance st. Big Data Surveillance and Why Privacy Pros Ought To Pay Attention to the PCLOB. This week, Congress finally acted to bring the U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) to its full strength and enable it to begin its critical mission.

With the confirmation Tuesday of David Medine as chair of the PCLOB, Medine and his distinguished bipartisan group of colleagues will finally be able to begin their work in earnest. The PCLOB is a vital guardian of Americans’ privacy rights and civil liberties. As an independent voice for privacy and civil liberties, it will oversee executive branch activities with civil liberties implications, including intelligence, counter-terrorism and law enforcement activities. The PCLOB will also offer guidance to the president and federal agencies on ways to ensure that counterterrorism practices respect basic constitutional protections principles. Consider the new authority given to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) last year by the Attorney General.

Enter the PCLOB! Photo credit: Alfred Hermida via photopin cc.