The Incredible Power of XKeyscore. By Richard Stiennon Der Spiegel makes light of an incredible tidbit they extracted from a 50-page catalog of exploit technology apparently developed by the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO).
The German newspaper describes, and dismisses as not very threatening the ability of an analyst using XKeyscore to identify a target’s machine, probably by IP address. Then, if that machine ever files a crash report with Microsoft (or presumably any application such as Mozilla’s Firefox) the vast store of data that the NSA has collected is investigated with XKeyscore to recover a copy of that crash report --which was captured, along with everything else, by the NSA’s taps into most network traffic.
Wait, what? Crash reports are not encrypted when sent to Microsoft or Mozilla? As if we needed it, here is yet another reminder that software developers can be woefully ignorant of the need for security. But take a moment to contemplate the power of XKeyscore. U.S. gives big, secret push to Internet surveillance. Senior Obama administration officials have secretly authorized the interception of communications carried on portions of networks operated by AT&T and other Internet service providers, a practice that might otherwise be illegal under federal wiretapping laws.
The secret legal authorization from the Justice Department originally applied to a cybersecurity pilot project in which the military monitored defense contractors' Internet links. Since then, however, the program has been expanded by President Obama to cover all critical infrastructure sectors including energy, healthcare, and finance starting June 12.
"The Justice Department is helping private companies evade federal wiretap laws," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which obtained over 1,000 pages of internal government documents and provided them to CNET this week. "Alarm bells should be going off. " ‘Smart’ Street Lights Analyze Voices, Track People. The company behind a new ‘smart’ street lighting system which is being rolled out in major cities like Las Vegas admits that the technology has the capability of analyzing voices and tracking people, features that will aid the Department of Homeland Security in “protecting its citizens.”
We first reported on Intellistreets bragging of its product’s “homeland security” applications back in 2011, with the backlash from privacy advocates causing the company to remove a promotional video from YouTube. The video was later restored (see above), although comments were disabled. However, Illuminating Concepts, the company behind Intellistreets, seems to be more comfortable in acknowledging the “security” aspects of its devices now that it has secured numerous lucrative government contracts to supply street lighting in several major cities. Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. The internet is fucked. Here’s a simple truth: the internet has radically changed the world.
Over the course of the past 20 years, the idea of networking all the world’s computers has gone from a research science pipe dream to a necessary condition of economic and social development, from government and university labs to kitchen tables and city streets. We are all travelers now, desperate souls searching for a signal to connect us all. It is awesome. And we’re fucking everything up. Massive companies like AT&T and Comcast have spent the first two months of 2014 boldly announcing plans to close and control the internet through additional fees, pay-to-play schemes, and sheer brutal size — all while the legal rules designed to protect against these kinds of abuses were struck down in court for basically making too much sense. “I expected the anti-blocking rule to be upheld,” National Cable and Telecommunications Association president and CEO Michael Powell told me after the ruling was issued.
We can do it. Controlling the web (2012) In January 2012, two controversial pieces of legislation were making their way through the US Congress.
SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and PIPA, the Protect Intellectual Property Act, were meant to crack down on the illegal sharing of digital media. The bills were drafted on request of the content industry, Hollywood studios and major record labels. The online community rose up against the US government to speak out against SOPA, and the anti-online piracy bill was effectively killed off after the largest online protest in US history. But it was only one win in a long battle between US authorities and online users over internet regulation. SOPA and PIPA were just the latest in a long line of anti-piracy legislation US politicians have passed since the 1990s. The US government says it must be able to fight against piracy and cyber attacks.