Edward Snowden,National Security Agency surveillance 2015-2016

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by The Wrong Guy, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. RightOn Member

    about the "Nascar" label suits....
    So lulzy.
    But how would that not be free advertising for these companies and others on the labels?
    If you were the owner of one of these companies. you would love the idea, no?
  2. A.O.T.F Member

    Revealed: White House seeks to enlist Silicon Valley to 'disrupt radicalization'

    Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft and YouTube will attend the meeting with intelligence agencies to discuss terrorists on social media and encryption


    The White House will attempt to enlist Silicon Valley’s major technology firms in its efforts to combat terrorism on Friday when a delegation of the most senior intelligence officials fly to California to meet with executives from companies including Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, YouTube and others.

    A copy of the agenda obtained by the Guardian indicates the White House seeks more or less to channel Silicon Valley’s talent into its war against Islamic State and other extremist groups.

    Continued -

    Oh, this is all going to go down well. :rolleyes:
  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Kevin Mitnick ‏@kevinmitnick 2 minutes ago
    Did Clapper just get hacked?

    Teen hacker compromises CIA spy chief accounts | ZDNet

    A teenage hacker has broken into a number of accounts belonging to CIA Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and his wife.

    Under the alias "Cracka," the teenager is believed to be part of the "Crackas With Attitude" (CWA) hacking group, which last hit the headlines in November after breaching a US police database.

    Speaking to Motherboard, Cracka claimed to have now broken into accounts belonging to Clapper, including his home telephone, Internet services and personal email.

    According to the publication, while in control of the spy chief's Verizon FiOS account, Cracka was also able to tamper with settings to reroute calls intended for Clapper's house elsewhere.

    If someone attempted to call the director, the phone call would be forwarded to the Free Palestine Movement, which Cracka supports.

    The movement claims to advocate for the human rights of Palestinians and fights against international and Israeli restrictions imposed upon Palestine, travel and trade.

    To verify the account hijacking, Motherboard was able to contact the co-founder of the movement Paul Larudee, who confirmed he was receiving calls intended for the US spy chief.

    In addition, the hacker provided a set of call logs to Clapper's home number. One of the numbers included in the log belonged to Vonna Heaton, the vice president of Ball Aerospace.

    "In the log, there was a number listed as belonging to Vonna Heaton, an executive at Ball Aerospace and a former senior executive at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency," Motherboard writer Lorenzo Bicchierai says. "When I called that number, the woman who picked up identified as Vonna Heaton. When I told her who I was, she declined to answer any questions."

    Cracka also forwarded screenshots reportedly taken from a Yahoo email account belonging to Clapper's wife, Susan.

    A spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed the cyberattack, and said the agency was "aware of the matter and we reported it to the appropriate authorities."

    It appears that the attack relied upon social engineering techniques and open-source data gleaned from the Internet.

    Cracka took to Twitter to mock US law enforcement, as well as brand the US government as "cold-blooded killers" and "corrupt."

    Continued here:
  4. A.O.T.F Member

  5. DeathHamster Member

    Is there a candidate score card? I imagine Trump would be in favor of clandestine execution.
  6. The Internet Member

    The black PR against Sanders is interesting as it seems targeted toward young liberal voters. Yet those voters are probably most aligned with Sander's views.

    All politicians have to make choices that seem contrary to their broader position. So it is a bit dodgy cherry picking a few votes to represent the entirety of a person's values.

    Disclosure: I have some pretty strong objections to the views of both Clinton and the Republicans who are running. I also don't feel confident that Sanders has a tough enough machine to survive the continuous beating he will get if elected.
  7. DeathHamster Member

    And when I say clandestine, I mean afterwards he'd hold a press conference/party and do a dance.
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  8. We stood by and did nothing. Nothing. The NSA collected the data on the social outcome of this. We are slaves. We don't even know how to introduce a bill. We don't make laws. We pay tax's to give value to money. Paying the federal reserve. The Illuminati has no value. We bring value to it. Just like we bring value to the greenback. If you don't apply for a SSN you don't need to pay taxes. You could pay yourself thru an s corporation. But then you can't borrow money. You will have no credit. This is the life we live. A dictatorship at work, freedom with sleep, and another 5 or so hours to complain about our fate.
    We are slaves to ourselves. We create our own hell.
  9. Purpose, and the perfect struggle between atrocity and reward. While accumulating material wealth greater than our surroundings. We created ISIS, we can end it. But we won't. We need an adversary to concur. Even if it's ourselves. The very way we think. That's the enemy. Ourselves. You can't beat yourself. You won't win. We create enemies to provide purpose. We are the enemy. Even if we wiped them off the face of this earth, another one of us would start another atrocity. Another war, another conflict. You want to win a war against ISIS. Convince them they are us, we are them. They just have garbage thinking. They are very toxic. Almost possessed if you ask me.
  10. Let's wipe there minds. Use chemicals to erase their memories. We have the capability to kill them all. Remove them from this planet. Yet we don't. Why? We could give them all cancer. We have the technology. Believe me, we do. Yet we watch and study. At what cost?
  11. White Tara Global Moderator

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  12. A.O.T.F Member

    Psychology - A New Kind of SIGDEV

    How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations


    Glenn Greenwald

    Feb. 24 2014, 11:25 p.m.

    One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

    Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”

    By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using.

    Continued -


    Deny / Disrupt / Degrade / Deceive /

    Obviously run by a team of Psychologists and Psychiatrists who have no problem whatsoever in drinking the dark side Kool Aid.

    Psychopathic and Sociopathic Dickheads. They're a disgrace to the profession. Shame on them.

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  13. A.O.T.F Member

    ......... But wait! There's more. This just in from the ||| Un Fucking Believable But True Department |||

    How Pentagon used 'military analysts' to manipulate the media

    It's long, very long, but if you can find the time to get through David Barstow's article in the New York
    Times about the Pentagon's communications strategy it will both amaze and inform. He reveals how a large crew of retired military officers have been deployed to appear on American TV programmes in recent years to talk up the war in Iraq.

    Neither the TV companies nor, of course, their viewers were aware that the officers were talking to a brief supplied by the Pentagon. Similarly, some newspapers - including the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal - have either published articles by members of the same military/media cabal, or quoted them in news stories, without realising their agenda.

    The article, Behind analysts, the Pentagon's hidden hand, claims the analysts have become "a kind of media Trojan horse - an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks... Analysts have been wooed in hundreds of private briefings with senior military leaders... They have been taken on tours of Iraq and given access to classified intelligence. They have been briefed by officials from the White House, State Department and Justice Department".

    Barstow quotes Kenneth Allard, a former NBC military analyst who believes the the campaign to be "a sophisticated information operation." Through freedom of information requests, Barstow obtained internal Pentagon documents that repeatedly refer to the military analysts as "message force multipliers" or "surrogates" who could be counted on to deliver administration "themes and messages" to millions of Americans "in the form of their own opinions."

    Among those messages have been sympathetic portrayals of the Guantánamo Bay prison, along with criticisms of Amnesty International, and justifications for continuing the war.

    Many of the "analysts" were also linked to military contractors and military consultants. Some have even been revealed as supporters of Iraq liberation groups. None of this was stated when they appeared on Fox News, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC and a variety of cable TV outlets. Nor, of course, when they were quoted in newspapers.

    According to an Editor & Publisher commentary on Barstow's article, it has identified several pieces in the NYTimes by these covert Pentagon spokesmen. They have also been quoted in stories despite their "deep ties to contractors."

    Together, the pieces are fascinating. But I have to say, it's hardly surprising that retired military personnel would generally spout pro-war views. Surely the average viewer/reader would take into account that fact and think accordingly.

    However, the sinister revelation that the strategy has been meticulously planned and executed does give one pause. This goes way beyond spin-doctoring to another level.

    Source -
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  14. The Internet Member

    Why do you say, "obviously" when that conclusion is far from certain? Psychiatrists are doctors who treat individuals with mental illness. They are not experts at manipulating public opinion. Market research is more in line with that skill.
  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Congressional Hearings on Surveillance Programs to Kick Off — in Secret

    By Jenna McLaughlin, The Intercept, January 28, 2016


    The House Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing next week on two of the NSA spying programs revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden that vacuum up domestic content despite being ostensibly targeted at foreigners: PRISM and Upstream.

    But, to the great consternation of 26 government accountability groups who wrote an angry letter to committee leaders on Wednesday, the public is not invited. The entire hearing is classified, and closed.

    Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008, which has been cited as the legal authority for those two programs, lapses next year.

    The debate over whether to reauthorize it is expected to be the most substantive public examination of the NSA’s surveillance regime since Congress’s decision to end NSA’s collection of bulk metadata of U.S. phone calls.

    Kicking off that debate with a closed hearing sets the wrong tone, groups including and the ACLU wrote in their letter. “It continues the excessive secrecy that has contributed to the surveillance abuses we have seen in recent years and to their adverse effects upon both our civil liberties and economic growth.”

    The authors of the letter reminded the committee that discussions over the original passage of the FISA Amendments Act in 2008 “happened largely in open session,” and that matters of national security are often discussed in open hearings, with classified briefings reserved for specific questions.

    Specifically, they wrote, “In the case of Section 702 implementation oversight, a completely closed hearing is unnecessary to provide members with an adequate understanding of how the law is currently implemented by the executive branch and whether that exceeds Congress’s original intent.”

    The two programs that run under Section 702 vacuum up hundreds of millions of online messages and voice communications, including emails, Skype calls, and Facebook messages, that involve “targeted” suspects overseas and the people they talk to. PRISM gets the data from companies like Google, Apple, and Yahoo. Upstream siphons it off from major internet cables owned by the big telecom companies.

    The programs accidentally sweep up American communications, too — how many, we still don’t know. And once those communications are in the database, the NSA can search them without a warrant.

    “Closed briefings are necessary for members of Congress to ask questions about classified information,” said Judiciary Committee member Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., in a statement to The Intercept. “However, I would support a subsequent open hearing on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act because transparency and public discussion are critical to the reform and reauthorization of Section 702.”

    Sensenbrenner was the original author of the USA Patriot Act, which was interpreted by the NSA as authorizing bulk collection of American telephone records. Since the Snowden revelations, Sensenbrenner has argued the law was never meant to sanction that kind of power. He has sponsored the Judicial Redress Act, which is aimed at providing foreigners the opportunity to sue in some cases where they claim their data is being improperly handled. Section 702 has basically no protections for foreign citizens’ data — despite President Barack Obama’s pledge to provide privacy protections to those overseas.

    Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., a longtime privacy advocate, called for holding an open hearing soon. “Reports indicate that FISA Section 702 authority has been used by the NSA to search Americans’ photographs, emails, and other communications without warrant or probable cause,” she said in a statement emailed to The Intercept. “The House has twice overwhelmingly voted to close the 702 loophole. During markup last year, Chairman [Bob] Goodlatte indicated his intent to deal with these problems before the 702 sunset date forces Congress to act hastily. While it is important to address some questions in a classified setting, open hearings on the aspects of 702 surveillance that are not classified are essential. I hope the committee will hold a public hearing in the coming weeks.”

    Closed sessions deprive not just the public of information, but other members of Congress as well. “The warrantless surveillance conducted under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is arguably worse than the collection of records authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act,” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said in a statement to The Intercept. “Unfortunately, closed committee sessions and insufficient congressional oversight contributed to the evolution of our unconstitutional surveillance state. Moving forward, it is imperative that Congress approach Section 702 reform as openly as possible.”

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  16. A.O.T.F Member

    CIA planned rendition operation to kidnap Edward Snowden

    By Thomas Gaist - 30 January 2016

    The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) prepared to kidnap Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed illegal and unconstitutional mass spying by the National Security Agency (NSA), documents obtained by the Danish media outlet Denfri show.

    US intelligence maintained an aircraft and paramilitary team on standby in Copenhagen, awaiting orders to seize Snowden in the event that he crossed into a number of European countries, the documents show. They were obtained by Denfri through a Freedom of Information Act suit in August 2015.

    The existence of the CIA plane was first reported in 2014 by The Register, which identified the aircraft as a Gulfstream V, registered under the number N977GA. The plane had previously been used to transport CIA captives to the agency’s “black site” torture centers across Europe, which were built up as part of an expanding global network of secret CIA prisons since 9/11.

    The latest documents appear to have decisively corroborated this account, showing that Danish police and government officers approved the positioning of the CIA plane in Copenhagen for unspecified “state purposes.” In one of the leaked government letters, US Federal Bureau of Investigation representatives also sought cooperation from the Norwegian government, demanding that they immediately notify US agencies in the event that Snowden travelled to Norway, Finland, Sweden or Denmark.

    The Danish decision to host the plane was part of broader cooperation by Copenhagen with Washington’s extra-legal kidnapping and rendition network. The Danish state has sought to preserve total secrecy in relation to the stationing of the CIA plane on its soil.

    “Denmark’s relationship with the USA would be damaged if the information [content redacted from the documents] becomes public knowledge,” Denmark’s interior ministry told Denfri.
    The confirmation that Washington planned for a direct raid to seize Snowden and forcibly return him to US custody does not come as a surprise.

    Snowden has become a public enemy of the first order in the eyes of the US ruling class since he began releasing troves of data on spy programs run by the NSA and other US government agencies in the summer of 2013. According to May 2014 comments from then-NSA Director Keith Alexander, Snowden downloaded more than 1 million secret US government documents.

    For the “crime” of exposing the vast and criminal surveillance enterprises run the by US government, Snowden has been subjected to innumerable death threats and slanders by the American media and political establishment.

    Snowden embodies a new generation of educated and technologically-trained workers and youth who are increasingly hostile to the existing social order. That is why he has been hounded and turned away by governments around the world, and now lives in de facto exile in Moscow, where he received a temporary visa only after being forced to live for weeks in Moscow’s international air terminal, after the US cancellation of his passport frustrated his effort to travel to Ecuador, where he was seeking asylum.

    There is now firm evidence that the US ruling elite sought to make good on its threats against Snowden, in the form of a snatch-and-grab operation, likely aimed at transferring the whistleblower to a covert torture base somewhere in Europe.

    Source -
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  17. A.O.T.F Member


    Boing Boing is proud to publish two original documents disclosed by Edward Snowden, in connection with "Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Extraordinary Rendition," a short story written for Laura Poitras's Astro Noise exhibition, which runs at NYC's Whitney Museum of Modern Art from Feb 5 to May 1, 2016.

    “I’d tell you, but I’d have to kill you.” This is what I shout at the TV (or the Youtube window) whenever I see a surveillance boss explain why none of his methods, or his mission, can be subjected to scrutiny. I write about surveillance, counter surveillance, and civil liberties, and have spent a fair bit of time in company with both the grunts and the generals of the surveillance industry, and I can always tell when one of these moments is coming up, the flinty-eyed look of someone about to play Jason Bourne.

    The stories we tell ourselves are the secret pivots on which our lives turn. So when Laura Poitras approached me to write a piece for the Astro Noise book -- to accompany her show at the Whitney -- and offered me access to the Snowden archive for the purpose, I jumped at the opportunity.

    Fortuitously, the Astro Noise offer coincided perfectly with another offer, from Laurie King and Leslie Klinger. Laurie is a bestselling Holmes writer; Les is the lawyer who won the lawsuit that put Sherlock Holmes in the public domain, firmly and unequivocally. Since their legal victory, they've been putting together unauthorized Sherlock anthologies, and did I want to write one for "Echoes of Holmes," the next one in line?

    The two projects coincided perfectly. Holmes, after all, is the master of HUMINT, (human intelligence), the business of following people around, getting information from snitches, dressing up in putty noses and fake beards... Meanwhile, his smarter brother Mycroft is a corpulent, sedentary presence in the stories, the master of SIGINT (signals intelligence), a node through which all the intelligence of the nation flows, waiting to be pieced together by Mycroft and his enormous intellect.

    The Mycroft-Sherlock dynamic perfectly embodies the fraternal rivalry between SIGINT and HUMINT: Sherlock chases all around town dressed like an old beggar woman or similar ruse, catches his man and hands him over to Scotland Yard, and then reports in to Mycroft, who interrupts him before he can get a word out, arching an eyebrow and saying, "I expect you found that it was the Bohemian stable-hand all along, working for those American Freemasons who were after the Sultan's pearls, was it not?"

    In 2014, I watched Jennifer Gibson from the eminent prisoners’ rights group Reprieve talking about her group's project to conduct a census of those killed by US drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan. The CIA conducts these strikes, using SIGINT to identify mobile phones belonging to likely targets and dispatch killer drones to annihilate anything in their vicinity. As former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden once confessed: "We kill people based on metadata."

    But the CIA does not specialize in SIGINT (that's the NSA's job). For most of its existence, the CIA was known as a HUMINT agency, the masters of disguise and infiltration..

    Continued -

  18. A.O.T.F Member

    Because of the connection The Intercept has with Edward Snowden, this is both relevant and important. I applaud the Intercept management for their honesty.

    A Note to Readers


    Betsy Reed

    Feb. 2 2016, 6:25 p.m.

    The Intercept recently discovered a pattern of deception in the actions of a staff member. The employee, Juan Thompson, was a staff reporter from November 2014 until last month. Thompson fabricated several quotes in his stories and created fake email accounts that he used to impersonate people, one of which was a Gmail account in my name.

    An investigation into Thompson’s reporting turned up three instances in which quotes were attributed to people who said they had not been interviewed. In other instances, quotes were attributed to individuals we could not reach, who could not remember speaking with him, or whose identities could not be confirmed. In his reporting Thompson also used quotes that we cannot verify from unnamed people whom he claimed to have encountered at public events. Thompson went to great lengths to deceive his editors, creating an email account to impersonate a source and lying about his reporting methods.

    We have published corrections and editor’s notes to the affected pieces, and we will publish further corrections if we identify additional problems. We are retracting one story in its entirety. We have decided not to remove the posts but have labeled them “Retracted” or “Corrected,” based on our findings. We have added notes to stories with unconfirmed quotes.

    We apologize to the subjects of the stories; to the people who were falsely quoted; and to you, our readers. We are contacting news outlets that picked up the corrected stories to alert them to the problems.
    Thompson wrote mostly short articles on news events and criminal justice. Many of these articles relied on publicly available sources and are accurate; others contain original reporting that held up under scrutiny. Thompson admitted to creating fake email accounts and fabricating messages, but stood by his published work. He did not cooperate in the review.

    The Intercept deeply regrets this situation. Ultimately, I am accountable for everything we publish. The best way we can see to maintain the trust of readers is to acknowledge and correct these mistakes, and to focus on producing journalism we are proud of.


    Retracted: Dylann Roof’s Cousin Claims Love Interest Chose Black Man Over Him


    Corrected: Footage of Police Violence Puts Heat on Chicago Officials
    Corrected: Black Lives Matter Activists Blocked From Entering Trump Campaign Rally
    Corrected: St. Louis Grapples — and Fails to Grapple — With the Matter of Murdered Black Women
    Corrected: St. Louis Residents Fight to Keep Spy Agency From Taking Their Homes

    Source -
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  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    penis ‏@DotGovs 13 hours ago
    FBI and DHS info is dropped and that's all we came to do, so now its time to go, bye folks!

    Hacker Leaks Info of 30,000 FBI and DHS Employees

    An unknown hacker who promised to release the personal information on government employees has dump online a list of nearly 20,000 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and 9,000 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers.

    Hacker Publishes Personal Info of 20,000 FBI Agents

    “Long Live Palestine, Long Live Gaza,“ reads a message at the top of the dump, which also included the hashtag “#FreePalestine.“

    US officials downplay impact of Department of Justice hacking

    Hackers claim to have stolen sensitive information from 20,000 people employed by Department of Justice and 9,000 employed by Homeland Security.
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Police Arrest 16-year-old Boy Who Hacked CIA Director

    The teenage hacker, who calls himself a member of hacktivist group "Cracka with Attitude," behind the series of hacks on the United States government and its high-level officials, including CIA director, might have finally got arrested.

    In a joint effort, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and British police reportedly have arrested a 16-year-old British teenager who they believe had allegedly:
    Federal officials haven't yet released the identity of the arrested teenager, but the boy is suspected of being the lead hacker of Cracka With Attitude, who calls himself Cracka, the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) told the Daily Dot.

    Continued here:

    His Twitter account has been suspended, so here's a search for mentions of it:
  21. New motherboard article. See my bold for v8 infoose

    Teen Allegedly Behind CIA, FBI Breaches: 'They're Trying to Ruin My Life.'

    Written by
    Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai and Joseph Cox
    February 12, 2016 // 08:53 AM EST

    Copy This URL
    The months-long series of hacks and pranks by a group of alleged teenage hackers on the US government and its high-level officials might have finally come to an end.
    Police authorities in the UK, working in conjunction with the FBI, have arrested a teenager who they believe is behind the cyberattacks that started last year, when a group of hackers broke into the AOL email account of CIA Director John Brennan. Officials have not released the identity of arrested teenager, but he is suspected of being the hacker known as “Cracka,” the leader of a hacktivist group called “Crackas With Attitude.”

    The National Crime Agency—essentially the UK’s FBI—directed Motherboard to the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU), which is headed by Thames Valley Police.
    In a statement, the SEROCU confirmed that it had “arrested a 16-year-old boy Tuesday (9/2) in the East Midlands on suspicion of conspiracy to commit Unauthorised access to computer material contrary to Section 1 Computer Misuse Act 1990, conspiracy to commit unauthorised access with intent to commit further offences contrary to Section 2 Computer Misuse Act 1990 and conspiracy to commit unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing operation of a computer contrary to Section 3 Computer Misuse Act 1990.”

    The unit would not provide any further information.
    On Wednesday night, Motherboard spoke to the teenager accused of being Cracka. “I got fucking v&,” he told Motherboard, using “v&,” the slang for “vanned,” or getting arrested. (At this point, the arrest had not been made public.) “They’re trying to ruin my life.”
    “I got fucking v& [...] They’re trying to ruin my life.”
    The teenager said authorities arrested him on Tuesday, and are accusing him of the attacks on Brennan, White House officials, and the recent hack on the Department of Justice, which resulted in the publication of the names and contact information almost 30,000 FBI and DHS employees.

    The alleged hacker, who declined to reveal his real name, said he refused to answer any questions from the police, and was subsequently released on bail after spending 7 hours in a cell. He also denied being Cracka, saying “I’m not who you think I am ;) ;) ;)

    “I’m innocent until proven guilty so I have nothing to be worried about,” he said, adding that the authorities seized this electronic devices, but he could still use the internet from a relative’s device.

  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Apple Slams Order To Hack a Killer’s iPhone, Inflaming Encryption Debate | The Intercept

    Apple CEO Tim Cook’s open letter defying a court order to hack into an iPhone— and asking for an open discussion about data privacy — has dramatized and widened the debate over encryption as never before.

    In a pointed “message to our customers,” Cook said the government’s request to circumvent a security protection mechanism on an iPhone could “undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers.” The CEO’s letter set off a firestorm of commentary and reporting as soon as it went online early this morning.

    Cook was responding to an order handed down by a federal magistrate judge in California Tuesday that compelled Apple to help the government break into an iPhone belonging to Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California in December.

    Judge Sheri Pym did not order Apple to break the encryption on the iPhone. Instead, she asked the company to develop a new version of the iPhone’s operating system, iOS, that would allow the FBI to use its computers to guess the passcode quickly, without getting locked out for making too many guesses. This approach, sometimes referred to as a “brute force attack,” circumvents the iPhone’s encryption without actually breaking it.

    The judge gave Apple five days to respond. But Cook issued his letter to customers within hours, clearly establishing Apple’s position in the case.

    “The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand,” he wrote.

    “Some would argue that building a backdoor for just one iPhone is a simple, clean-cut solution,” he added. “But it ignores both the basics of digital security and the significance of what the government is demanding in this case.”

    “In today’s digital world, the ‘key’ to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it. Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.”

    Continued here:
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  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    This article (The NSA Actually Has A Program Called SKYNET — And It’s Terrifying) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Clarice Palmer and

    The NSA Actually Has A Program Called SKYNET — And It's Terrifying

    By Clarice Palmer

    A recent examination of National Security Agency documents previously released by whistleblower Edward Snowden shows that the CIA and other U.S. agencies may be killing innocent people as a result of their reliance on metadata.

    The NSA’s SKYNET is a program that surveils phone metadata in order to track suspected terrorists. Through SKYNET, the security agency engages in mass surveillance of Pakistan’s mobile phone network, affecting 55 million people — but that’s not all. Once the data is gathered, it’s run through a machine learning algorithm that attempts to rate whether a particular individual is more or less likely to be a terrorist.

    According to Human Rights Data Analysis’ executive director Patrick Ball, the NSA’s methods are “ridiculously optimistic” and “completely bullshit.” If Ball is correct, SKYNET’s methodology may be putting thousands of innocent lives in danger because they are being falsely identified as terrorists.

    While Ball has raised many issues, one of the most important points, which NSA officials appear to be ignoring, is that the machine is only able to identify a terrorist if it has access to details pertaining to a great number of other known terrorists. According to New York Magazine, however, “there just aren’t that many known terrorists” who could be added to the machine’s list, “especially in comparison to the number of phones the NSA is monitoring in Pakistan.”

    The documents made available by The Intercept show the NSA works with the data of only seven known terrorists. NSA officials reportedly feed six of the terrorists’ information into the machine, tasking SKYNET with the duty of finding the seventh in a random group of 100,000 citizens.

    Ball says this system cannot work.

    According to Ars Technica, there were about 120 million cellular handsets in use in Pakistan at the end of 2012. At the time, the NSA analyzed 55 million of those records. With only “80 variables on 55 million Pakistani mobile phone users, there is obviously far too much data to make sense of manually,” Ars Technica explained.

    Like any other application targeting big data, SKYNET is used as a substitute for “human reason and judgment,”Ars Technica’s Christian Grothoff and J.M. Porup explain.

    Similar apps, like the one used by Facebook, are prone to making major mistakes, but the consequences of Facebook’s errors are relatively innocuous. When SKYNET makes similar mistakes by wrongly identifying a terrorist, the consequences are deadly.

    Ars Technica contends that the information harvested and analyzed by NSA is “likely” used by the CIA or the U.S. military, two agencies that execute “Find-Fix-Finish” strategies with the help of Predator drones or “on-the-ground death squads.”

    Before feeding the information to the CIA or the military, SKYNET uses information on people’s typical daily routines to tell a story. According to the NSA documents, the Ars Technica analysis details, the “program … is based on the assumption that the behaviour of terrorists differs significantly from that of ordinary citizens” when it comes to the more than 80 different properties they use to rate people.

    With terrorist organizations upping their efforts to remain undetected, it’s hard to see how SKYNET could be effective, especially after learning that Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief in Islamabad, Ahmad Zaidan, was once SKYNET’s highest rated target.

    In 2014, the former director of both the CIA and NSA, Michael Hayden, proudly claimed they “kill people based on metadata.”

    To Ball, the NSA has a major problem on their hands if they “are using the same records to train the model as they are using to test the model.

    Because there is such a small number of known terrorists to work with, the number of possible terrorists is not sufficiently narrowed down. Ball explains the “usual practice is to hold some of the data out of the training process so that the test includes records the model has never seen before. Without this step, their classification fit assessment is ridiculously optimistic.

    If the NSA is serious about being accurate, Ball told Ars Technica, the agency should mix the terrorists into the population set “before random selection of a subset.” But the low number of known terrorists makes this particular step hard to follow. Without a “scientifically-sound statistical analysis,” there is no accuracy.

    President Barack Obama has been under heavy scrutiny for authorizing drone campaigns that result in gross mistakes, killing a great number of innocent people while targeting “confirmed terrorists.” Since 2004, there have been 401 US drone strikes in Afghanistan, alone, killing 3,058 people total. In Pakistan, hundreds, including children, have died in pursuit of a mere two dozen declared terrorists.

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  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    How Apple will fight the DOJ in iPhone backdoor crypto case | Ars Technica

    Apple CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday evening said the US government's legal position on encryption backdoors was setting "a dangerous precedent.” That’s because, just a few hours prior, a federal judge agreed with the US Justice Department that a 1789 law compelled Apple to alter an iPhone's firmware that would allow the authorities to use a brute-force attack on an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

    Cook said Apple will fight the Riverside, California, magistrate judge's orders, calling it an "unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority." Depending on where you line up in the cryptowars debate, Cook's characterization of the government's stance may or may not be true. But what is undeniable is that the act has certainly been used to expand the government's surveillance reach. Whether it ultimately will in the iPhone case is an open question likely to be resolved by the Supreme Court.


    Apple has three more business days to issue a formal court response. Judge Pym has yet to schedule oral arguments in her Riverside, California, courtroom.
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  25. DeathHamster Member

    Apple to US gov: Error 53.
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

  27. The Wrong Guy Member

  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    Police Arrest Second Alleged Member of Teen Group that Hacked CIA Director | Motherboard

    The grip seems to be tightening around the infamous group of teenage hackers that’s been targeting US government agencies and high-level officials for months.

    On Tuesday, police in Scotland arrested a 15-year-old boy from Glasgow, whom a source told Motherboard is one of the main members of the hacking group known as “Crackas With Attitude,” or CWA. The teenager, according to the source, is the hacker known as “Cubed.”
  29. The Wrong Guy Member

    Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Refuse to Choose Between Apple and the FBI | The Intercept

    Neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders were willing to pick a side Thursday in the heated battle between the FBI and Apple over the government’s demand that the company create new, less secure software to comply with a warrant.

    The tech giant made headlines on Wednesday with its forceful response to a federal judge’s court order that it help the government break into an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino killers, Syed Farook.

    When Democratic town hall host José Díaz-Balart asked Sanders “whose side are you on?” Sanders replied: “Both.”

    “I am very fearful in America about Big Brother. And that means not only the federal government getting into your emails or knowing what books you’re taking out of the library, or private corporations knowing everything there is to know about you in terms of your health records, your banking records, your consumer practices,” Sanders said.

    “On the other hand, what I also worry about is the possibility of another terrorist attack against our country. And frankly, I think there is a middle ground that can be reached.”

    Clinton called the situation a “difficult dilemma.” She discussed some of the main concerns Apple has “about opening the door, creating what they call a backdoor into encryption.” And she pointed out that the capability could be abused by authoritarian regimes like “the Chinese, Russian, Iranian governments” who want the same kind of access.

    But she concluded with a favorite law enforcement talking point: That the smart people in America can surely solve this problem and find a way to help the FBI access encrypted communications with a little brainstorming and teamwork. “As smart as we are, there’s got to be some way on a very specific basis we could try to help get information around crimes and terrorism,” she said. Technologists refer to this as the “magic pony” solution.

    Continued here:
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  30. DeathHamster Member

    Logic fail. Smart people in America designed the protection.

    And if the smart people in America can break the encryption, so can the smart people in China and Russia. (Or the smart people for hire by anyone with money.)

    Weaponized smart people in tomorrow's Idiocracy.
  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    FBI Screwed Up — Police Reset Shooter's Apple ID Passcode that leaves iPhone Data Unrecoverable

    Another Surprising Twist in the Apple-FBI Encryption Case: The Apple ID passcode changed while the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone was in government custody.

    Yes, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been screwed up and left with no option to retrieve data from iPhone that belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook.

    Apple has finally responded to the Department of Justice (DoJ) court filing that attempts to force Apple to comply with an FBI request to help the feds unlock Farook's iPhone, but Apple refused to do so.

    According to Apple, the company had been helping feds with the investigation since early January to provide a way to access Farook's iPhone, but the problem is that the feds approached the company after attempting a 'blunder' themselves.

    Here's How the FBI Screwed itself

    On October 19, 2015, Roughly six weeks before the San Bernardino terrorist attacks, Syed Farook made a last full iCloud backup of his iPhone 5C, which Apple had already provided to the FBI under a court order.

    Now the FBI is looking for the data on Farook's phone stored between October 19, 2015, and the date of the attacks on December 12, which has not been yet synced with Farook's iCloud account.

    When the FBI approached Apple to help them brute force the passcode without losing data, Apple suggested the feds an alternative way, i.e., Connect Farook's iPhone to the Internet by taking it to a known Wi-Fi range. This way his phone would have automatically backup device data with his iCloud account.

    But the twist lies here:

    Just after the terrorist attacks, an unnamed San Bernardino police official 'Reset the Apple ID passcode' associated with Farook's iPhone 5C "less than 24 hours after the government took possession of the device" in an attempt to access the data.

    Here's the blunder:

    By default, resetting the Apple ID password essentially creates an entirely new device ID on an iCloud account that will not automatically sync device data online, until the user manually configures the newly generated Apple ID password within the device settings.

    Unfortunately, Farook's iPhone is already LOCKED, and Apple has already refused to provide a backdoor to bypass the device passcode.

    So, the authorities are now left with no chance to pull off the data from iCloud even if they take the device to the known Wi-Fi range.

    Here's what a senior Apple executive who requested anonymity told BuzzFeed:

    The Apple ID passcode linked to the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino terrorists was changed less than 24 hours after the government took possession of the device, senior Apple executives said Friday. If that hadn't happened, Apple said, a backup of the information the government was seeking may have been accessible…

    The executives said the company had been in regular discussions with the government since early January, and that it proposed four different ways to recover the information the government is interested in without building a back door. One of those methods would have involved connecting the phone to a known wifi network.

    The statement came just hours after the DoJ criticized Apple's response to the court order.

    Possible Alternative Ways to Recover Data

    But, there could still be some way out to get the data the FBI needed. One way could be if it is possible for Apple to simply restore the changes made to Farook's iCloud account.

    Continued here:
  32. DeathHamster Member

    Hmm. Since the phone is locked, some genius would have had to access Farook's iCloud account via a web interface. He probably jumped for the "Change Apple ID passcode" option, thinking it would change the phone lock password and they could get in.

    Hopefully they're keeping that phone away from any net access, so how did he think that was going to work?

    It wouldn't be hard to make an app that trashed the phone if it wasn't unlocked for n days, just saying.
  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    NSA Targets World Leaders for US Geopolitical Interests | WikiLeaks

    Today, 23 February 2016 at 00:00 GMT, WikiLeaks publishes highly classified documents showing that the NSA bugged meetings between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, between Israel prime minister Netanyahu and Italian prime minister Berlusconi, between key EU and Japanese trade ministers discussing their secret trade red-lines at WTO negotiations, as well as details of a private meeting between then French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Merkel and Berlusconi.

    The documents also reveal the content of the meetings from Ban Ki Moon's strategising with Merkel over climate change, to Netanyahu's begging Berlusconi to help him deal with Obama, to Sarkozy telling Berlusconi that the Italian banking system would soon "pop like a cork".

    Some documents are classified TOP-SECRET / COMINT-GAMMA and are the most highly classified documents ever published by a media organization.

    WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange said "Today we showed that UN Secretary General Ban KiMoon's private meetings over how to save the planet from climate change were bugged by a country intent on protecting its largest oil companies. We previously published Hillary Clinton orders that US diplomats were to steal the Secretary General's DNA. The US government has signed agreements with the UN that it will not engage in such conduct against the UN -- let alone its Secretary General. It will be interesting to see the UN's reaction, because if the Secretary General can be targeted without consequence then everyone from world leader to street sweeper is at risk."

    Source, with links:
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  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    John McAfee weighs in on Apple vs FBI fight

    Apple and the FBI are in a fight over unlocking the San Bernardino shooter’s phone. With the FBI claiming that this would be a one-time thing and Apple claiming that it’s a matter of privacy, it seems that there is a lot at stake. But what does this mean to the average American with an iPhone? Cyber security legend John McAfee joins RT’s Ed Schultz to discuss.

    John McAfee blasts FBI for ‘illiterate’ order to create Apple iPhone backdoor (EXCLUSIVE) | RT News

    Here's what tech leaders have said about the Apple-FBI dispute | Computerworld

    With 12 Other Active Cases, The FBI Can’t Claim That It’s Just About One iPhone | TechCrunch
  35. The Wrong Guy Member

  36. The Wrong Guy Member

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  37. DeathHamster Member

  38. The Wrong Guy Member

    Tim Cook: Standing up to FBI is 'right thing to do' | CNN

    Apple attorney Ted Olson told CNNMoney's Laurie Segall on Friday that complying with the order could mean a government with "limitless" powers.

    "You can imagine every different law enforcement official telling Apple we want a new product to get into something," Olson said. "Even a state judge could order Apple to build something. There's no stopping point. That would lead to a police state."
  39. The Wrong Guy Member

    Summoned to Capitol Hill, Apple Comes Armed With Questions for Congress

    Apple, summoned to Capitol Hill to explain why it is refusing to help the government access a terrorist’s phone by developing malware to hack in, says Congress should be the one answering questions.

    Bruce Sewell, Apple’s top lawyer and senior vice president, will testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. In the prepared text of his opening statement, Sewell calls for public debate around three questions in particular.

    “The American people deserve an honest conversation around the important questions stemming from the FBI’s current demand,” Sewell wrote.

    “Do we want to put a limit on the technology that protects our data, and therefore our privacy and our safety, in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks?”

    “Should the FBI be allowed to stop Apple, or any company, from offering the American people the safest and most secure product it can make?”

    And: “Should the FBI have the right to compel a company to produce a product it doesn’t already make, to the FBI’s exact specifications and for the FBI’s use?”

    Continued here:

    FBI claims it has no records of its decision to delete its recommendation to encrypt your phone

    Two years ago, the FBI published its official advice to "protect your mobile device," including a recommendation to encrypt your storage. This year, the FBI is suing Apple to force it to break its encryption.

    In between, the FBI mysteriously removed this advice.

    Techdirt's Mike Masnick filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI to find out how it decided to change its recommendation. The FBI scoured every corner -- it took more than the 30 days the law allows! -- and told Masnick, sorry, we don't have any records of that one. Shruggie!

    Continued here:
  40. The Wrong Guy Member

    US cannot make Apple provide iPhone data in drug case, NY judge says | Fox News

    U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein's written decision provided support to Apple's decision as it fights a California judge's order to create specialized software to help the FBI hack the San Bernardino phone.

    Orenstein concluded that Apple is not obligated to assist government investigators against its will and noted that Congress has not adopted legislation that would achieve the result sought by the government.

    "How best to balance those interests is a matter of critical importance to our society, and the need for an answer becomes more pressing daily, as the tide of technological advance flows ever farther past the boundaries of what seemed possible even a few decades ago," Orenstein wrote. "But that debate must happen today, and it must take place among legislators who are equipped to consider the technological and cultural realities of a world their predecessors could not begin to conceive."

    Apple vs. the FBI on Capitol Hill | CBS Evening News

    Apple, FBI Face Off at Congressional Hearing on Locked iPhone | NBC Nightly News

    Apple vs. FBI Encryption Opening Statements | C-SPAN

    The opening statement by Apple Senior Vice President and General Counsel Bruce Sewell begins at 7:30.

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