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How the NSA is still harvesting your online data

How the NSA is still harvesting your online data
A review of top-secret NSA documents suggests that the surveillance agency still collects and sifts through large quantities of Americans' online data – despite the Obama administration's insistence that the program that began under Bush ended in 2011. Shawn Turner, the Obama administration's director of communications for National Intelligence, told the Guardian that "the internet metadata collection program authorized by the Fisa court was discontinued in 2011 for operational and resource reasons and has not been restarted." But the documents indicate that the amount of internet metadata harvested, viewed, processed and overseen by the Special Source Operations (SSO) directorate inside the NSA is extensive. While there is no reference to any specific program currently collecting purely domestic internet metadata in bulk, it is clear that the agency collects and analyzes significant amounts of data from US communications systems in the course of monitoring foreign targets. Related:  surveillanceLong Talks about the NSA

Edward Snowden Provides Information on NSA Cyber Spying & Hacking to Hong Kong Newspaper Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who blew the whistle on secret US surveillance programs like PRISM, has provided details on United States government hacking and cyber-spying to a newspaper in Hong Kong. The South China Morning Post, which previously interviewed Snowden, was shown information that Snowden said indicated the US government had hacked into “Chinese mobile firms to steal millions of text messages.” He also showed the newspaper that Tsinhua University, which the Post describes as the “mainland’s top education and research institute,” was the “target of extensive hacking by US spies this year.” “It is not known how many times the prestigious university has been attacked by the NSA but details shown to the Post by Snowden reveal that one of the most recent breaches was this January,” according to reporting by the newspaper. The attacks were “intensive and concerted efforts.” The global headquarters for Pacnet is in Hong Kong and Singapore.

PRISM - Where do we go from here? | In light of the shocking revelations regarding the United States surveillance machine (the National Security Agency) and their PRISM initiative - one has to ask how do we move forward? As you can see from my previous blog post, I have personally written to President Barroso of the European Commission asking that the Commission immediately revoke the Safe Harbour status of the United States, ban all US companies from EU markets until such time as the US Government acknowledge and uphold the fundamental and constitutional rights of European citizens and begin a formal investigation into the allegations that the UK Government's signals analysis agency GCHQ used PRISM to circumvent the legal processes in place governing the acquisition and interception of citizens' communications. People have already started to ask me to recommend some alternatives to the popular services we use online, to be honest there aren't very many. For the above reasons, I once again turn my old friends at Ixquick.

'EvilOlive, Transient Thurible, MoonLightPath...": The NSA's Active Internet Spy Programs The NSA collects and analyzes significant amounts of data from US communications systems in the course of monitoring foreign targets. (Photograph: bizarre names—including "EvilOlive," "ShellTrumpet," "MoonLightPath," "Transient Thurible," and "Spinneret"—the existence of a series of internal data-mining programs developed and operated by the National Intelligence Agency, according to documents assessed by the Guardian, indicates that despite assurances from NSA officials, the massive collection of domestic internet data is not only ongoing, but possibly expanding. As part of the latest revelations based on leaked documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden on Thursday, journalists Glenn Greenwald and Spencer Ackerman, say the internal communications "indicate that the amount of internet metadata harvested, viewed, processed and overseen by the Special Source Operations (SSO) directorate inside the NSA is extensive." Greenwald and Ackerman continue:

Druckversion - Cover Story: How the NSA Targets Germany and Europe - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International At first glance, the story always appears to be the same. A needle has disappeared into the haystack -- information lost in a sea of data. For some time now, though, it appears America's intelligence services have been trying to tackle the problem from a different angle. "If you're looking for a needle in the haystack, you need a haystack," says Jeremy Bash, the former chief of staff to ex-CIA head Leon Panetta. An enormous haystack it turns out -- one comprised of the billions of minutes of daily cross-border telephone traffic. Europe Reacts to NSA Spying Begin quote gallery: Click on the arrow Four-star General Keith Alexander -- who is today the NSA director and America's highest-ranking cyber warrior as the chief of the US Cyber Command -- defined these challenges. All the signals all the time. A Fiasco for the NSA The whole episode is a fiasco for the NSA which, in contrast to the CIA, has long been able to conduct its spying without drawing much public attention.

Anonymized Phone Location Data Not So Anonymous, Researchers Find | Threat Level Anonymized mobile phone location data produces a GPS fingerprint that can be easily used to identify a user based on little more than tracking the pings a phone makes to cell towers, a new study shows. Analyzing 15 months of anonymized mobile phone data for about 1.5 million users, researchers at MIT and the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium found that it took very few pieces of data to uniquely identify 95 percent of the users — that is, trace the activity to a specific anonymous individual. Based on hourly updates of a user’s location, tracked by pings from their mobile phone to nearby cell towers as they moved about or made and received calls and text messages, the researchers could identify the individual from just four “data points.” With just two data points, they could identify about 50 percent of users. “Mobility data is among the most sensitive data currently being collected,” the researchers write in their study, published in Scientific Reports.

FASCIA (database) FASCIA is a massive database of the U.S. National Security Agency that contains trillions of device-location records that are collected from a variety of sources.[1] Its existence was revealed during the 2013 global surveillance disclosure by Edward Snowden.[2] The FASCIA database stores various types of information, including Location Area Codes (LACs), Cell Tower IDs (CeLLIDs), Visitor Location Registers (VLRs), International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEIs) and MSISDNs (Mobile Subscriber Integrated Services Digital Network-Numbers).[1][2] Over a period of about seven months, more than 27 terabytes of location data were collected and stored in the database.[3] Every day, five billion device-location records are added to the database Dishfire ^ Jump up to: a b Narayan Lakshman (2013-12-05).

International Customers: It's Time to Call on US Internet Companies to Demand Accountability and Transparency This is a joint international campaign between EFF and Access Now. The Guardian and the Washington Post recently published slides that indicate that the US government’s National Security Agency (NSA) is engaged in mass surveillance of users around the world through a program called PRISM. The NSA is extracting audio, video, photographs, emails, documents, and connection logs from nine leading Internet companies: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. These major Internet companies have denied any knowledge of the PRISM program. It’s difficult to square the companies’ denials with the leaked slides and the US government’s admission that the PRISM program does exist—and is capturing data from users all over world. The time is now for global users of US Internet companies to demand answers, and for those companies to join them in seeking more transparency—and limits to government surveillance of their international and US users. Denials are not enough.

Why Metadata Matters In response to the recent news reports about the National Security Agency's surveillance program, President Barack Obama said today, "When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls." Instead, the government was just "sifting through this so-called metadata." The Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made a similar comment last night: "The program does not allow the Government to listen in on anyone’s phone calls. The information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the identity of any subscriber." What they are trying to say is that disclosure of metadata—the details about phone calls, without the actual voice—isn't a big deal, not something for Americans to get upset about if the government knows. They know you rang a phone sex service at 2:24 am and spoke for 18 minutes. Sorry, your phone records—oops, "so-called metadata"—can reveal a lot more about the content of your calls than the government is implying.

Stellar Wind (code name) Stellar Wind or STELLARWIND is the code name of a Sensitive Compartmented Information security compartment for information collected under the President's Surveillance Program (PSP).[1] This was a program by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) during the presidency of George W. Bush and revealed by Thomas Tamm to The New York Times in 2008.[2] The operation was approved by President George W. The intelligence community was also able to obtain from the Treasury Department suspicious activity reports, or "SARS", which are reports of activities such as large cash transactions that are submitted by financial institutions under anti-money laundering rules.[2] In June 2013 the Washington Post and the Guardian published an OIG draft report, dated March 2009, leaked by Edward Snowden detailing the Stellar Wind program.[1][8] See also[edit] References[edit] External links[edit]

Using Domestic Networks to Spy on the World Spies Without Borders I This is the first article of our Spies Without Borders series. This article has been co-authored by Tamir Israel, Staff Lawyer at CIPPIC and Katitza Rodriguez, EFF International Rights Director. The Spies Without Borders series are looking into how the information disclosed in the NSA leaks affect the international community and how they highlight one part of an international system of surveillance that dissolves what national privacy protections any of us have, whereever we live. You can follow the Spies Without Borders here. Introductions Much of the U.S. media coverage of last week’s NSA revelations has concentrated on its impact on the constitutional rights of U.S. While the details are still emerging, what is clear is that many of the newly exposed surveillance activities have been shaped by U.S. foreign intelligence surveillance laws. Global Communications Networks & Trans-border Surveillance

NSA taps in to systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and others, secret files reveal | World news The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian. The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says. The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. Although the presentation claims the program is run with the assistance of the companies, all those who responded to a Guardian request for comment on Thursday denied knowledge of any such program. In a statement, Google said: "Google cares deeply about the security of our users' data. An Apple spokesman said it had "never heard" of Prism.