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The NSA files

The NSA files
Related:  The NSA Files: PRISM & Boundless InformationNSA slides and the PRISM data-collection programPrivacy Concerns

Clapper admits secret NSA surveillance program to access user data | World news Obama's expansion of Bush regime's surveillance weakens his attempt to confront Xi Jinping over cyber-attacks. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP The US has admitted using a secret system to mine the systems of the biggest technology companies to spy on millions of people's online activity, overshadowing attempts by Barack Obama to force China to abandon its cyber-espionage program. As concern mounted over the sweeping nature of US surveillance, the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, confirmed revelations by the Guardian that the National Security Agency uses companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple to obtain information that includes the content of emails and online files. Coupled with the acknowledgement that authorities had undertaken a seven-year program to monitor the telephone calls of potentially millions of people in the US, it has become clear that the Obama administration has embraced and expanded the surveillance regime began under President Bush.

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 government’s ability to collect, analyze and retain data about millions of citizens grows, there are more and more circumstances in which the PCLOB will serve as the ONLY independent oversight body (aside from Congress). Consider the new authority given to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) last year by the Attorney General. Application of Big Data analytic techniques is, of course, important to discovering unexpected linkages between individuals who may pose a threat to the U.S. Enter the PCLOB! photo credit: Alfred Hermida via photopin cc

Revealed: how US and UK spy agencies defeat internet privacy and security | World news | Guardian Weekly US and British intelligence agencies have successfully cracked much of the online encryption relied upon by hundreds of millions of people to protect the privacy of their personal data, online transactions and emails, according to top-secret documents revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden. The files show that the National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have broadly compromised the guarantees that internet companies have given consumers to reassure them that their communications, online banking and medical records would be indecipherable to criminals or governments. The agencies, the documents reveal, have adopted a battery of methods in their systematic and ongoing assault on what they see as one of the biggest threats to their ability to access huge swathes of internet traffic – "the use of ubiquitous encryption across the internet". But security experts accused them of attacking the internet itself and the privacy of all users.

Polar vortex: temperatures drop below freezing in all 50 US states | World news | The Guardian - Iceweasel Temperatures in all 50 US states dipped below freezing on Tuesday in a rare nationwide chill that will keep a grip on much of the country for at least another day, with cutting winds and blizzards posing the most danger. Florida, a state that normally basks in its reputation as a warm winter escape, experienced unusually low temperatures. In the midwest, northeast and eastern Canada, it was dangerous to venture outside. At some point on Tuesday, at least one location in each of the 50 US states recorded temperatures below freezing, with the highest point on Hawaii, Mauna Kea, recording a temperature of 21F (-6C). The so-called polar vortex that funnelled an Arctic low pressure system into the upper US this week swung south and east on Tuesday. Polar conditions settled over two-thirds of the US. It was colder in the southern state of Georgia than Alaska as Atlanta plunged to 6F (-14C) – the lowest temperature since 1966 – while Anchorage, Alaska, recorded 27F (-3C) .

NSA is collecting phone records of millions of US citizens daily The U.S. NSA is collecting phone records of millions of customers Verizon, the second telephone company in the country. The shocking news has been revealed by ‘ Guardian ‘ whose journalists had access to a “Top Secret” court order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson, issued in April against Verizon. The order obliges the Verizon company to deliver the daily list of calls, “both within the Member States and between the United States and other countries.” The order was issued by the U.S. The order reveals that is ongoing a massive collection of communications records of millions of Americans, each citizen is intercepted regardless of whether he was suspected of some crime. The revelation is embarrassing for the Obama administration, since now authorities and law enforcement haven’t commented the news, a source close to the judiciary has confirmed the authenticity of the order. A spokesman for the National Security Agency announced: “We will respond as soon as we can,” . Pierluigi Paganini

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations | World news The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell. The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant." 'I am not afraid, because this is the choice I've made' A matter of principle

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."

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations | World news The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell. The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant." 'I am not afraid, because this is the choice I've made' A matter of principle

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World - A Sheep No More - Iceweasel If you’re a visual learner like myself, then you know maps, charts and info graphics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers and this collection aims to do just that. Hopefully some of these maps will surprise you and you’ll learn something new. A few are important to know, some interpret and display data in a beautiful or creative way, and a few may even make you chuckle or shake your head. If you enjoy this collection of maps, the Sifter highly recommends the r/MapPorn sub reddit. 1. Map by Google 2. Map via Wikimedia Commons 3. Map by Stuart Laycock (via The Telegraph) 4. Map by eatrio.net via Reddit Pangea was a supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras, forming about 300 million years ago. 5. Map by Business Management EU 6. Map by The New York Times 7. Map by Teepr on Reddit 8. Map by ChartsBin.com 9. Map by Phoenix B 1of3 10. Map by Carna Botnet via Reddit 11. Map by Vizual Statistix 12. 13. 14. 15.

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