Edward Snowden's E-Mail Provider Defied FBI Demands to Turn Over Crypto Keys, Documents Show Image: Courtesy of the Guardian The U.S. government in July obtained a search warrant demanding that Edward Snowden’s e-mail provider, Lavabit, turn over the private SSL keys that protected all web traffic to the site, according to to newly unsealed documents. The July 16 order came after Texas-based Lavabit refused to circumvent its own security systems to comply with earlier orders intended to monitor a particular Lavabit user’s metadata, defined as “information about each communication sent or received by the account, including the date and time of the communication, the method of communication, and the source and destination of the communication.” The name of the target is redacted from the unsealed records, but the offenses under investigation are listed as violations of the Espionage Act and theft of government property — the exact charges that have been filed against NSA whistleblower Snowden in the same Virginia court.
Brazilian president Rousseff: US surveillance a 'breach of international law' Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff, has launched a blistering attack on US espionage at the UN general assembly, accusing the NSA of violating international law by its indiscriminate collection of personal information of Brazilian citizens and economic espionage targeted on the country's strategic industries. Rousseff's angry speech was a direct challenge to President Barack Obama, who was waiting in the wings to deliver his own address to the UN general assembly, and represented the most serious diplomatic fallout to date from the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Rousseff had already put off a planned visit to Washington in protest at US spying, after NSA documents leaked by Snowden revealed that the US electronic eavesdropping agency had monitored the Brazilian president's phone calls, as well as Brazilian embassies and spied on the state oil corporation, Petrobras.
Snowden Nominated for Freedom of Thought Prize BRUSSELS/MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) – Members of the European Parliament are officially nominating fugitive US leaker Edward Snowden for a prize celebrating freedom of thought, a parliamentary representative said Wednesday. Snowden is a candidate for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, which honors people or organizations for their work in the defense of human rights and freedom of thought. Christian Engstrom, a member of the Swedish Pirate Party who co-nominated Snowden for the award, wrote that Snowden is “paying a heavy personal price” for his “heroic” effort. “The US government hunts him as an outlaw… Governments that dare to offer him asylum are threatened with dire consequences by the US government,” Engstrom wrote on his personal blog page. “In a painful irony, his only sanctuary is Russia, a country with democratic problems and authoritarian tendencies.”
Yahoo CEO Mayer: we faced jail if we revealed NSA surveillance secrets Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, struck back on Wednesday at critics who have charged tech companies with doing too little to fight off NSA surveillance. Mayer said executives faced jail if they revealed government secrets. Yahoo and Facebook, along with other tech firms, are pushing for the right to be allowed to publish the number of requests they receive from the spy agency. Companies are forbidden by law to disclose how much data they provide. During an interview at the Techcrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Mayer was asked why tech companies had not simply decided to tell the public more about what the US surveillance industry was up to.
How Defenders Of NSA Dragnet Surveillance Are Stretching A 1979 Ruling To Pretend It's Constitutional Defenders of the legality of the NSA's dragnet approach to surveillance often point to the concept of the third party doctrine, and specifically to the case Smith v. Maryland, in which the Supreme Court said that it was okay for law enforcement to get phone records without a warrant because the information was held by a "third party" and the original caller had no expectation of privacy in data given to that third party. We've questioned the legitimacy of the third party doctrine for years, and folks like Al Gore and Alan Grayson have discussed why it's a stretch to say that the ruling applies to the NSA hoovering up all phone call data.
Microsoft and Google to sue government over transparency In a blog entry by Microsoft General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs Brad Smith, the company explained how negotiations with the government over permission "…to publish sufficient data relating to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders" have faltered. Both Microsoft and Google will proceed with litigation to seek permission from the FISA court. Ever since the public disclosure of the NSA's surveillance programs by former contractor Edward Snowden, Microsoft, Google and many other companies have called on the government to allow them to disclose the extent of their cooperation so that customers and foreign governments can make informed decisions about the trustworthiness of the companies' services. Smith says in the blog that both Microsoft and Google filed suit in June for permission to disclose the information, and they believe they have the clear constitutional right to do so. See also:
Edward Snowden asylum: US 'disappointed' by Russian decision The White House expressed anger and dismay on Thursday after Russia granted temporary asylum to the American whistleblower Edward Snowden and allowed him to leave the Moscow airport where he had been holed up for over a month. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the US was "extremely disappointed" by the decision, almost certainly taken personally by President Vladimir Putin. He said Moscow should hand Snowden back and hinted that Barack Obama might now boycott a bilateral meeting with Putin in September, due to be held when the US president travels to Russia for a G20 summit. Carney added that Snowden had arrived in both China and Russia carrying with him thousands of top secret US documents. He said: "Simply the possession of that kind of highly sensitive classified information outside of secure areas is both a huge risk and a violation. "As we know he's been in Russia now for many weeks.
Spy Agencies Probe Angry Birds and Other Apps for Personal Data When a smartphone user opens Angry Birds, the popular game application, and starts slinging birds at chortling green pigs, spy agencies have plotted how to lurk in the background to snatch data revealing the player’s location, age, sex and other personal information, according to secret British intelligence documents. In their globe-spanning surveillance for terrorism suspects and other targets, the National Security Agency and its British counterpart have been trying to exploit a basic byproduct of modern telecommunications: With each new generation of mobile phone technology, ever greater amounts of personal data pour onto networks where spies can pick it up. According to dozens of previously undisclosed classified documents, among the most valuable of those unintended intelligence tools are so-called leaky apps that spew everything from users’ smartphone identification codes to where they have been that day. The scale and the specifics of the data haul are not clear. Detailed Profiles
PRISM (surveillance program) PRISM logo used in the slides PRISM is a clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program launched in 2007 by the National Security Agency (NSA), with participation from an unknown date by the British equivalent agency, GCHQ. PRISM is a government code name for a data-collection effort known officially by the SIGAD US-984XN. The Prism program collects stored Internet communications based on demands made to Internet companies such as Google Inc. and Apple Inc. under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 to turn over any data that match court-approved search terms. The NSA can use these Prism requests to target communications that were encrypted when they traveled across the Internet backbone, to focus on stored data that telecommunication filtering systems discarded earlier, and to get data that is easier to handle, among other things. Slide showing that much of the world's communications flow through the U.S. Tasking, Points to Remember.
I'm Being Followed: How Google—and 104 Other Companies—Are Tracking Me on the Web - Alexis C. Madrigal Who are these companies and what do they want from me? A voyage into the invisible business that funds the web. This morning, if you opened your browser and went to NYTimes.com, an amazing thing happened in the milliseconds between your click and when the news about North Korea and James Murdoch appeared on your screen. Data from this single visit was sent to 10 different companies, including Microsoft and Google subsidiaries, a gaggle of traffic-logging sites, and other, smaller ad firms. Nearly instantaneously, these companies can log your visit, place ads tailored for your eyes specifically, and add to the ever-growing online file about you. There's nothing necessarily sinister about this subterranean data exchange: this is, after all, the advertising ecosystem that supports free online content.