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FBI Wants Backdoors in Facebook, Skype and Instant Messaging

FBI Wants Backdoors in Facebook, Skype and Instant Messaging
The FBI has been lobbying top internet companies like Yahoo and Google to support a proposal that would force them to provide backdoors for government surveillance, according to CNET. The Bureau has been quietly meeting with representatives of these companies, as well as Microsoft (which owns Hotmail and Skype), Facebook and others to argue for a legislative proposal, drafted by the FBI, that would require social-networking sites and VoIP, instant messaging and e-mail providers to alter their code to make their products wiretap-friendly. The FBI has previously complained to Congress about the so-called “Going Dark” problem – the difficulty of doing effective wiretap surveillance as more communications have moved from traditional telephone services to internet service companies. Under the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, passed in 1994, telecommunications providers are required to make their systems wiretap-friendly.

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Yes, the FBI and CIA can read your email. Here's how The U.S. government -- and likely your own government, for that matter -- is either watching your online activity every minute of the day through automated methods and non-human eavesdropping techniques, or has the ability to dip in as and when it deems necessary -- sometimes with a warrant, sometimes without. That tin-foil hat really isn't going to help. Take it off, you look silly. Feds put heat on Web firms for master encryption keys Large Internet companies have resisted the government's demands for encryption keys requests on the grounds that they go beyond what the law permits, according to one person who has dealt with these attempts. (Credit: Declan McCullagh) The U.S. government has attempted to obtain the master encryption keys that Internet companies use to shield millions of users' private Web communications from eavesdropping. These demands for master encryption keys, which have not been disclosed previously, represent a technological escalation in the clandestine methods that the FBI and the National Security Agency employ when conducting electronic surveillance against Internet users. If the government obtains a company's master encryption key, agents could decrypt the contents of communications intercepted through a wiretap or by invoking the potent surveillance authorities of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Google also declined to disclose whether it had received requests for encryption keys.

Firefox Add-On Collusion Shows Who's Tracking You Online If you're concerned about advertisers tracking you across the Web, Mozilla can now help you see exactly who's following you online with a new experimental Firefox add-on called Collusion. The browser extension creates a real-time graph of all the tracking cookies being deposited on your browser as you move around the Web. The add-on can differentiate between behavioral tracking (cookies that record links you click on, what content you view, searches you make on a site, etc.) and other potential tracking cookies. Collusion's graph also makes it easy to see which sites are using the same behavioral tracking advertisers. Collusion was originally developed as an independent project by Mozilla engineer Atul Varma. Mozilla is now developing the add-on with the support of the Ford Foundation.

Facebook email: pointless endeavor, spammer's dream, or both? Seriously, Facebook? As you may or may not have heard, Facebook made the decision recently to pull the ol' switch-a-roo on many of its users by making their default email address an email address, instead of whatever they had beforehand (see: Fixing the Facebook e-mail foul-up). In this post, I'm going to discuss why Facebook email is a completely pointless endeavor, as well as why it may well be a spammer's dream come true. Pointless Endeavor

Yes, The FBI Used Malware To Try To Reveal Tor Users While some reports had suggested that it was the NSA involved, it seemed much more likely (as we predicted) that the FBI was behind the attempt to control Freedom Hosting's servers and effectively insert a bit of malware designed to identify users of the Tor Browser, who thought they were anonymous. And, now the FBI has more or less admitted it as part of its effort to extradite Eric Eoin Marques, the owner of Freedom Hosting from Ireland. The FBI has been known to use malware like this, though it had repeatedly tried to keep it away from investigations involving more technically savvy folks, who might discover it and reveal it to the world. We're watching: The camera that can recognise you from your Facebook picture every time you walk into a shop Could be used by shops to offer discounts to customersSystem already being trialled in Nashville shops and barsUsers must sign up to take part and 'teach' system what they look like By Mark Prigg Published: 15:46 GMT, 13 August 2012 | Updated: 16:46 GMT, 13 August 2012 Shoppers could soon be automatically recognised when they walk into a shop using a controversial new camera. Called Facedeals, the camera uses photos uploaded to Facebook to recognise people as they walk in.

Man Arrested At Airport for Unusual Watch Every time I start to question whether I should be in politics or not, something like this happens, which is so outrageous that it reaffirms my commitment to change the system… This is Geoffery McGann… (source) Mr. McGann is an artist. Did the FBI Lean On Microsoft for Access to Its Encryption Software? The NSA is reportedly not the only government agency asking tech companies for help in cracking technology to access user data. Sources say the FBI has a history of requesting digital backdoors, which are generally understood as a hidden vulnerability in a program that would, in theory, let the agency peek into suspects' computers and communications. In 2005, when Microsoft was about to launch BitLocker, its Windows software to encrypt and lock hard drives, the company approached the NSA, its British counterpart the GCHQ and the FBI, among other government and law-enforcement agencies. Microsoft's goal was twofold: get feedback from the agencies, and sell BitLocker to them. But the FBI, concerned about its ability to fight crime — specifically, child pornography — apparently repeatedly asked Microsoft to put a backdoor in the software. A backdoor — or trapdoor — is a secret vulnerability that can be exploited to break or circumvent supposedly secure systems.

Mobile phone companies can predict future movements of users by building a profile of their lifestyle Your future location is calculated using data from your phoneUniversity of Birmingham team made location predictions of users with an error margin of just 60ft If developed, it can be used for personalised marketing, but has been accused of invading privacy By Sara Malm and Lucy Osborne Published: 09:07 GMT, 19 August 2012 | Updated: 06:47 GMT, 20 August 2012 Tracked: Scientists have developed a formula to forecast our future movements through phone software From telling us when our train is coming, helping us when we're lost and letting us watch our favourite TV shows, there seems no limit to how involved our smartphone is with our day-to-day life. Now the gadget promises something so advanced it verges on the supernatural: it will know exactly what we're doing tomorrow.

Dennis Chang's VOIP-Pal aims to help law enforcement monitor Skype, other Internet chats. Photo by KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images According to law enforcement agencies, the rising popularity of Internet chat services like Skype has made it difficult to eavesdrop on suspects’ communications. But now a California businessman is weighing in with what he claims is a revolutionary solution—a next-generation surveillance technology designed to covertly intercept online chats and video calls in real time. How Britain exported next-generation surveillance — Matter OVER THE PAST DECADE, countries all around the world have started to employ the same technologies Britain has been building for 30 years. Australia began fitting mobile ANPR units to its highway patrol vehicles in 2009. The small Belgian city of Mechelen was selected to trial the system in 2011: by the following year, the city was already monitoring a quarter of a million vehicles every month. The results of the program, including the discovery of 224 stolen vehicles, are now being used to justify the installation of high-definition CCTV and facial recognition systems throughout the city center. Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine and Turkey: all are among the ever-expanding list of countries now rolling out plate-reading systems at scale.