A new report from Rand Corp. may help shed light on the government’s arsenal of malicious software, including the size of its stockpile of so-called “zero days” — hacks that hit undisclosed vulnerabilities in computers, smartphones, and other digital devices.The report also provides evidence that such vulnerabilities are long lasting. The findings are of particular interest because not much is known about the U.S. government’s controversial use of zero days.
Harris Corp.’s Stingray surveillance device has been one of the most closely-guarded secrets in law enforcement for more than 15 years. The company and its police clients across the United States have fought to keep information about the mobile-phone-monitoring boxes from the public against which they are used. The Intercept has obtained several Harris instruction manuals spanning roughly 200 pages and meticulously detailing how to create a cellular surveillance dragnet.
in the heart of the tranquil English countryside, is the National Security Agency’s largest overseas spying base. Originally used to monitor Soviet communications through the Cold War, its focus has since dramatically shifted, and today it is a vital part of the NSA’s sprawling global surveillance network.
Un grupo de hackers vinculado a la Agencia de Seguridad Nacional de los Estados Unidos, mejor conocida como la NSA (National Security Agency), ha sido hackeado recientemente y sus herramientas de espionaje, recolección de información, malware y más, han sido puestas en venta por 1 millón de bitcoins (más de 550 millones de dólares al momento de la publicación).
Un grupo de hackers dice haber obtenido información confidencial de Equation Group, un conocido y sofisticado grupo de ciber atacantes ligado a la NSA. Parte de la información publicada permite por primera vez echar un vistazo a las herramientas utilizadas por la agencia de seguridad estadounidense.
The suddenly vast scale of Pokemon Go adoption is matched by the game’s aggressive use of personal information. Unlike, say, Twitter, Facebook, or Netflix, the app requires uninterrupted use of your location and camera — a “trove of sensitive user data,” as one privacy watchdog put it in a concerned letter to federal regulators.All the more alarming, then, that Pokemon Go is run by a man whose team literally drove one of the greatest privacy debacles of the internet era, in which Google vehicles, in the course of photographing neighborhoods for the Street View feature of the company’s online maps, secretly copied digital traffic from home networks, scooping up passwords, email messages, medical records, financial information, and audio and video files.
Hamburg conference hears that Red Star intranet allows Pyongyang to control citizens’ access to websites
New Zealand launched a covert surveillance operation targeting candidates vying to be director general of the World Trade Organization, a top-secret document reveals.
In the period leading up to the May 2013 appointment, the country’s electronic eavesdropping agency programmed an Internet spying system to intercept emails about a list of high-profile candidates from Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, and South Korea.
New Zealand’s trade minister Tim Groser was one of nine candidates in contention for the position at the WTO, a powerful international organization based in Geneva, Switzerland that negotiates trade agreements between nations. The surveillance operation, carried out by Government Communications Security Bureau, or GCSB, appears to have been part of a secret effort to help Groser win the job.
Canada’s electronic surveillance agency has secretly developed an arsenal of cyber weapons capable of stealing data and destroying adversaries’ infrastructure, according to newly revealed classified documents.
Communications Security Establishment, or CSE, has also covertly hacked into computers across the world to gather intelligence, breaking into networks in Europe, Mexico, the Middle East, and North Africa, the documents show.
The revelations, reported Monday by CBC News in collaboration with The Intercept, shine a light for the first time on how Canada has adopted aggressive tactics to attack, sabotage, and infiltrate targeted computer systems.
Christopher Parsons, a surveillance expert at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, told CBC News that the new revelations showed that Canada’s computer networks had already been “turned into a battlefield without any Canadian being asked: Should it be done? How should it be done?”
According to documents obtained by The Intercept from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, CSE has a wide range of powerful tools to perform “computer network exploitation” and “computer network attack” operations. These involve hacking into networks to either gather intelligence or to damage adversaries’ infrastructure, potentially including electricity, transportation or banking systems. The most well-known example of a state-sponsored “attack” operation involved the use of Stuxnet, a computer worm that was reportedly developed by the United States and Israel to sabotage Iranian nuclear facilities.
Los ataques convierten en obsoletos los sistemas de seguridad en la Red. La doble autenticación y la biometría se abren camino
Con saqueos masivos de datos como el de Sony, el mayor ciberataque padecido por una empresa, o el que sufrió Apple hace unos meses, cuando decenas de fotos privadas de actrices de Hollywood fueron robadas y difundidas por todos los rincones de la red, hablar de Internet y seguridad se ha convertido casi en un oxímoron, una contradicción en los términos. La mayoría de los expertos considera que el actual sistema de contraseñas que rige la red ha caducado por lo incómodo que resulta para los usuarios y, como queda cada vez más claro, por su falta de fiabilidad. El futuro se encuentra en los sistemas de doble autenticación y en la biometría, campo en el que varias empresas españolas están en la vanguardia. Mientras tanto todos los expertos en seguridad dan el mismo consejo: generar contraseñas más complejas para, en la medida de lo posible, entorpecer el trabajo de los ladrones de datos.
Como ha escrito el experto en informática de The New York Times, Farhad Manjoo, “no mandes un mail, no subas una foto a la nube, no mandes un mensaje de texto, al menos si tienes cualquier esperanza de que siga siendo privado”. El problema está en que cada vez tenemos más datos y más importantes en Internet, ya sean bancarios, profesionales o personales, y cada vez están más expuestos. La página web www.databreaches.net calcula que se han producido 30.000 robos de datos en todo tipo de empresas en los últimos diez años, con una inquietante aceleración en 2013 y 2014. Javier García Villalba, profesor del Departamento de Ingeniería de Software e Inteligencia Artificial de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, asegura: “Una contraseña por sí sola ya no ofrece suficiente seguridad. Los ataques informáticos comprometen por igual cualquier contraseña, sea buena, mala o regular”.
- 5:26 pm |
Mere days after a government crackdown on a spyware manufacturer comes the startling revelation that law enforcement agencies have been purchasing commercial spyware themselves and handing it out to the public for free.
Police departments around the country have been distributing thousands of free copies of spyware to parents to monitor their children’s activity, a fact that’s come to light in the wake of a federal indictment this week against the maker of one commercial spyware tool on wiretapping charges.
The tool being distributed by agencies, known as ComputerCOP, has been purchased in bulk by more than two hundred police departments in thirty-five states as well as by sheriff’s offices and district attorneys. It’s designed to search computers for files and videos based on a keyword dictionary that comes with the software and also can log every keystroke on a computer, sending some of that data—in an unsecured manner—to a server belonging to the company that makes the software.
But according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which examined the spyware and uncovered the arrangement with law enforcement agencies, the spyware works badly and there is nothing to prevent parents who receive it from using it against other adults.
“It’s certainly ironic that law enforcement agencies are going after spyware makers while also distributing software that could be used for the same purposes,” says Dave Maas, an investigator with the EFF. “Obviously there’s a difference in how these were marketed by the maker. But certainly law enforcement needs to train their magnifying glasses on their own operations.”
Throughout the last year, the U.S. government has repeatedly insisted that it does not engage in economic and industrial espionage, in an effort to distinguish its own spying from China’s infiltrations of Google, Nortel, and other corporate targets. So critical is this denial to the U.S. government that last August, an NSA spokesperson emailed The Washington Post to say (emphasis in original): “The department does ***not*** engage in economic espionage in any domain, including cyber.”
After that categorical statement to the Post, the NSA was caught spying on plainly financial targets such as the Brazilian oil giant Petrobras; economic summits; international credit card and banking systems; the EU antitrust commissioner investigating Google, Microsoft, and Intel; and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. In response, the U.S. modified its denial to acknowledge that it does engage in economic spying, but unlike China, the spying is never done to benefit American corporations.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, for instance, responded to the Petrobras revelations by claiming: “It is not a secret that the Intelligence Community collects information about economic and financial matters…. What we do not do, as we have said many times, is use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of—or give intelligence we collect to—U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.”
But a secret 2009 report issued by Clapper’s own office explicitly contemplates doing exactly that. The document, the 2009 Quadrennial Intelligence Community Review—provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden—is a fascinating window into the mindset of America’s spies as they identify future threats to the U.S. and lay out the actions the U.S. intelligence community should take in response. It anticipates a series of potential scenarios the U.S. may face in 2025, from a “China/Russia/India/Iran centered bloc [that] challenges U.S. supremacy” to a world in which “identity-based groups supplant nation-states,” and games out how the U.S. intelligence community should operate in those alternative futures—the idea being to assess “the most challenging issues [the U.S.] could face beyond the standard planning cycle.”
One of the principal threats raised in the report is a scenario “in which the United States’ technological and innovative edge slips”— in particular, “that the technological capacity of foreign multinational corporations could outstrip that of U.S. corporations.” Such a development, the report says “could put the United States at a growing—and potentially permanent—disadvantage in crucial areas such as energy, nanotechnology, medicine, and information technology.”
How could U.S. intelligence agencies solve that problem? The report recommends “a multi-pronged, systematic effort to gather open source and proprietary information through overt means, clandestine penetration (through physical and cyber means), and counterintelligence” (emphasis added). In particular, the DNI’s report envisions “cyber operations” to penetrate “covert centers of innovation” such as R&D facilities.
La última filtración de los “papeles de Snowden” revela la creación del buscador ICREACH para rastrear entre los metadatos espiados
La herramienta pudo servir para detenciones e interrogatorios de sospechosos
El anterior director de la NSA, Keith Alexander, ahora consultor privado, fue su promotor
Aunque hace más de un año empezaron a salir a la luz las prácticas de espionaje masivo de la NSA con la publicación del rastreo de las llamadas de los usuarios de Verizon, el caso está lejos de cerrarse.
El último de los programas conocidos, revelado por “The Intercept” la semana pasada, es “ICREACH”, un buscador que la NSA habría desarrollado en secreto para rastrear entre miles de millones de metadatos obtenidos en sus actividades de espionaje indiscriminado.
Se trata, entre los sistemas de espionaje hasta ahora desvelados, de uno de los más graves por la cesión de millones de datos registrados a otras agencias como la CIA, el FBI o la DEA (que carecen del control y autorización excepcional con que supuestamente contaría la NSA), porquehabría servido para detenciones e interrogatorios a quienes se consideraban sospechosos “a la luz” del tratamiento de dichos metadatos.
Estas prácticas vulnerarían, tal como apuntaron enseguida las primeras reacciones, la Cuarta Enmienda de la Constitución norteamericana que establece que solo se podrá ser objeto de investigación o detención por causas “razonables”:
“El derecho de los habitantes de que sus personas, domicilios, papeles y efectos se hallen a salvo de pesquisas y aprehensiones arbitrarias, será inviolable, y no se expedirán al efecto mandamientos que no se apoyen en un motivo verosímil…”
La aprobación de dos proyectos de acuerdo opuestos y excluyentes en la Cámara de Diputados puso al software libre en el centro de la discusión pública. ¿Cuáles son los factores a considerar al momento de decidir el gasto estatal en tecnología? Las revelaciones de espionaje político aportadas por Edward Snowden dan nuevas pistas al respecto.
Durante las últimas semanas se instaló, con sorpresa, la discusión respecto del uso del software libre en el Estado. La polémica no estuvo motivada por una cuestión técnica, que en parte lo es, sino por una discusión política: ¿Es razonable que el Estado pague millones año a año en licencias de software a cargo del presupuesto fiscal? ¿Debiera el Estado promover alternativas abiertas o libres en lugar de pagar por el uso de software propietario?
The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.
The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.
ICREACH contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Details about its existence are contained in the archive of materials provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Earlier revelations sourced to the Snowden documents have exposed a multitude of NSA programs for collecting large volumes of communications. The NSA has acknowledged that it shares some of its collected data with domestic agencies like the FBI, but details about the method and scope of its sharing have remained shrouded in secrecy.
In what has become almost an annual ritual, computer networking and communications colossus Cisco Systems on Wednesday said it was laying off thousands of employees as it struggles with sluggish sales and a range of fierce competitors.
The company announced 6000 job cuts on a conference call following its quarterly earnings report, or roughly 8 per cent of its workforce, and has trimmed nearly 20,000 jobs worldwide over the last five years. Although Chief Financial Officer Frank Calderoni said the company expected to reinvest much of the savings from the cuts announced Wednesday into key growth areas, Cisco officials would not say how many new people would be hired in those areas or where they would be employed. They also did not say where the cuts would occur.
A spokeswoman for Cisco Australia said the cuts would have a global impact. It’s understood the company employees around 1000 people in Australia.
Noting that the San Jose corporation needs to make changes to keep pace with rapidly changing technology, Baird Equity Research analyst Jayson Noland said “it’s probably frustrating to be an employee there when they are going to have major restructuring efforts like this every year or two.” But he added, “if your skills are stale as an engineer or as a sales and marketing guy, you’re running the risk of being replaced.”
Cisco is Silicon Valley’s fifth-biggest corporation by revenue, but its sales have been blunted by the sluggish global economy. It also faces competition from recent start-ups to more established corporations such as Juniper Networks of Sunnyvale and Brocade Communications Systems of San Jose.
Un año después de las revelaciones del extécnico de la NSA Edward Snowden, grandes empresas como Microsoft, IBM o Cisco sufren las consecuencias del ciberespionaje practicado por su Gobierno
Pablo G. Bejerano – Madrid
El tradicional mimo con el que el Gobierno de Estados Unidos trata a sus empresas nacionales y las impulsa a hacer negocios en todo el mundo se ha visto malogrado en estos últimos 12 meses. Se acaba de cumplir un año desde que las primeras revelaciones de Edward Snowden estamparan las páginas de The Guardian y The Washington Post.
Tras el estupor inicial, el debate sobre la privacidad de los ciudadanos se desarrolla en diferentes países y aparece entre los usuarios la preocupación para evitar la dependencia de la tecnología estadounidense. Y entre los principales afectados se encuentran nombres como IBM, Cisco o Microsoft.
Las empresas de Estados Unidos son las que más tecnología exportan a todo el mundo y la amenaza de posibles puertas traseras en sus sistemas es también una amenaza para su negocio. Apenas un mes después del escándalo, más de 50 compañías pidieron en una carta a Barack Obama permiso para ser más transparentes sobre la información que tenían que pasar al gobierno. Fue el primer intento –tímido– por evitar que sus negocios salieran malparados.
A lo largo de este año transcurrido desde las revelaciones sobre la NSA se han podido comprobar los daños económicos más inmediatos para las compañías tecnológicas e incluso estimar los que podrían darse en el futuro. Aun así existen muchos contratos firmados por varios años, con lo que las verdaderas consecuencias se sabrán a medida que vayan expirando estos contratos.
Microsoft ya ha perdido algunos clientes, tanto es así que el pasado mes de enero anunció que permitirá a los usuarios elegir en qué país se almacenarán sus datos. El golpe más importante para la compañía de Redmond ha sido el plan de Brasil para abandonar el uso de Microsoft Outlook, sustituyéndolo por su propio sistema de correo electrónico, con centros de datos locales. De paso, también se ha cancelado un acuerdo de 4.000 millones de dólares por el que el país carioca iba a comprar aviones de combate a Estados Unidos.
La comunicación entre Brasil y Europa hasta ahora se producía mediante cables submarinos estadounidenses, pero la UE y el Gobierno brasileño han aprobado la construcción de nuevos cables, que correrá a cargo de empresas brasileñas y españolas. Mientras que otros países de Latinoamérica, bajo la bandera de UNASUR, están pensando en la posibilidad de crear su propio sistema de comunicaciones a prueba del espionaje de la NSA.
Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know the apparatus of repression has been covertly attached to the democratic state. However, our struggle to retain privacy is far from hopeless
In the third chapter of his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon gave two reasons why the slavery into which the Romans had tumbled under Augustus and his successors left them more wretched than any previous human slavery. In the first place, Gibbon said, the Romans had carried with them into slavery the culture of a free people: their language and their conception of themselves as human beings presupposed freedom. And thus, says Gibbon, for a long time the Romans preserved the sentiments – or at least the ideas – of a freeborn people. In the second place, the empire of the Romans filled all the world, and when that empire fell into the hands of a single person, the world was a safe and dreary prison for his enemies. As Gibbon wrote, to resist was fatal, and it was impossible to fly.
The power of that Roman empire rested in its leaders’ control of communications. The Mediterranean was their lake. Across their European empire, from Scotland to Syria, they pushed roads that 15 centuries later were still primary arteries of European transportation. Down those roads the emperor marched his armies. Up those roads he gathered his intelligence. The emperors invented the posts to move couriers and messages at the fastest possible speed.
Using that infrastructure, with respect to everything that involved the administration of power, the emperor made himself the best-informed person in the history of the world.
That power eradicated human freedom. “Remember,” said Cicero to Marcellus in exile, “wherever you are, you are equally within the power of the conqueror.”
The empire of the United States after the second world war also depended upon control of communications. This was more evident when, a mere 20 years later, the United States was locked in a confrontation of nuclear annihilation with the Soviet Union. In a war of submarines hidden in the dark below the continents, capable of eradicating human civilisation in less than an hour, the rule of engagement was “launch on warning”. Thus the United States valued control of communications as highly as the Emperor Augustus. Its listeners too aspired to know everything.
We all know that the United States has for decades spent as much on its military might as all other powers in the world combined. Americans are now realising what it means that we applied to the stealing of signals and the breaking of codes a similar proportion of our resources in relation to the rest of the world.
The US system of listening comprises a military command controlling a large civilian workforce. That structure presupposes the foreign intelligence nature of listening activities. Military control was a symbol and guarantee of the nature of the activity being pursued. Wide-scale domestic surveillance under military command would have violated the fundamental principle of civilian control.
Instead what it had was a foreign intelligence service responsible to the president as military commander-in-chief. The chain of military command absolutely ensured respect for the fundamental principle “no listening here”. The boundary between home and away distinguished the permissible from the unconstitutional.
The distinction between home and away was at least technically credible, given the reality of 20th-century communications media, which were hierarchically organised and very often state-controlled.
When the US government chose to listen to other governments abroad – to their militaries, to their diplomatic communications, to their policymakers where possible – they were listening in a world of defined targets. The basic principle was: hack, tap, steal. We listened, we hacked in, we traded, we stole.
In the beginning we listened to militaries and their governments. Later we monitored the flow of international trade as far as it engaged American national security interests.
BY Carola Frediani | Tuesday, April 8 2014
It might seem that there is little connection between Milan and the atrocities occurring in Syria under the regime of President Bashar al-Assad but we now know that a little known Italian tech company called Area SpA was providing Assad with technology that could virtually allow him to seize and search any e-mail that passed through the country. Unfortunately, such an example is now fairly commonplace: Vodafone in Egypt, as well as Siemens and Nokia in Iran, to name a few.
Though Area SpA later announced it was curtailing its surveillance project in Syria, in an alarming trend, surveillance technology companies, many of them in western countries with decent human rights records are selling such technology to countries with fairly sinister ones. This problem, which some activists have called the “digital arms trade” is global and complex in nature and is at the heart of a new global campaign launched on April 4 by an international group of leading NGOs. They banded together to create the Coalition Against Unlawful Surveillance Exports (CAUSE), calling for governments to take action on the international trade in communication surveillance technologies.
The group — which includes Amnesty International, Digitale Gesellschaft, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Human Rights Watch, the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, Privacy International, and Reporters without Borders — wants governments and private companies to tackle the proliferation and abuse of these technologies across the world, since they are more often than not used to violate their citizens’ right to privacy, free speech and a host of other human rights. World leaders are responsible for keeping such invasive surveillance systems and technologies out of the hands of dictators and oppressive regimes, said the coalition’s organizers.
“What is unique about the CAUSE coalition are the groups that are part of it,” Mike Rispoli, Communication Manager of UK-based Privacy International, says to techPresident. “You have organizations like Privacy International, as well as Open Technology Institute or Digitale Gesellschaft, that focus on technology, digital rights, etc., but you also have more traditional human rights groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters without Borders. The reason why this is so important is that there’s a broad recognition that surveillance technologies pose significant threat to the enjoyment of rights around the world, not just the right to privacy but also freedom of expression.”
What exactly do these technologies do? There is malware that allows surreptitious data extraction from personal devices such as phone and PCs; tools that can intercept telecommunications traffic; spygear that geolocates mobile phones and can therefore track their owners; monitoring systems that allow authorities to track entire populations; and devices used to tap undersea fiber optic cables to enable NSA-style internet monitoring and filtering.
Según la publicación Der Spiegel, existen programas que prueban que la NSA tuvo ‘puertas traseras’ para el ingreso en los artefactos de computación que emplean muchos consumidores.
La empresa Apple afirmó hoy que “nunca ha trabajado con la Agencia de Seguridad Nacional de EE.UU. para crear una ‘puerta trasera’” que permitiera el espionaje en algunos de sus productos, incluido el iPhone.
El comunicado de la firma respondió a un artículo publicado el lunes en la revista alemana Der Spiegel acerca de una unidad dentro de la agencia NSA, denominada Operaciones de Acceso Específico, cuya función es penetrar los sistemas de computación extranjeros para obtener datos de interés para la seguridad nacional de Estados Unidos.
El artículo menciona decenas de artefactos y métodos, incluidos los precios por su uso, en un catálogo que la NSA podía usar para elegir las herramientas necesarias para su espionaje.
El catálogo, siempre según Der Spiegel, incluía una variedad de herramientas de intrusión en sistemas digitales que permitían el espionaje en computadoras portátiles, teléfonos móviles y otros artefactos de consumo.
Según Der Spiegel, esos programas prueban que la NSA tuvo ‘puertas traseras’ para el ingreso en los artefactos de computación que emplean muchos consumidores.
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Cisco Systems warned its revenues could fall as much as 10 per cent in the current quarter, sparking fears that the US networking equipment company is losing ground amid big technology transitions in some of its markets.
Recent revelations about internet surveillance by the US National Security Agency had prompted a “level of uncertainty or concern” among customers internationally that had contributed to sliding demand, Frank Calderone, chief financial officer, said.
New orders fell 12 per cent in the developing world, with Brazil down 25 per cent and Russia off 30 per cent, a sharp reversal from the 8 per cent jump experienced in the preceding three months.
The collapse coincided with the international furore over disclosures that the NSA had taken advantage of the strong position of US technology companies to extend its surveillance of the global internet, raising concerns about a backlash against American companies such as Cisco.
The forecast came as a shock to Wall Street analysts who had been expecting growth of 6 per cent, leading to a 10 per cent fall in Cisco’s shares in after-market trading on Wednesday.
Chief executive John Chambers blamed the decline on a slump in demand from customers in emerging markets and suggested a range of technology companies were likely to be similarly affected.
He said the decision to cut back Cisco’s TV set-top box operations to focus on more profitable parts of the business had also played a role.
But Mr Chambers acknowledged that the company was facing weaker sales in its core switching and routing markets as it went through important product transitions, raising fears that it was losing ground in its most profitable products.
“There is no doubt the pace of change we all see and feel is accelerating,” Mr Chambers said. “This is the new market reality.”
Stella Rimington urges ‘proper supervision and scrutiny’ of surveillance
Security services: too secretive for their own good?
Snowden: ‘Economies are built on creativity, curiosity- and privacy’
NSA keeps public web data for one year
What you’re saying below the line…
NSA analysing social networking data
Microsoft’s former privacy adviser: ‘I don’t trust Microsoft’
Just because a right-wing ‘satire’ site writes something about the iPhone 5s, that doesn’t make it true: and the characters in quotes saying Apple will share data are made up
The latest “oh, this must be true because we read it somewhere” is that “Apple is going to share its fingerprint database collected by the iPhone 5s with the National Security Agency”. Reality check: the article claiming this comes from a right-wing “satire” site. Why are people confused? Because the satire’s badly executed.
A lot of people read it but didn’t realise that the satire site was a satire site. (I’ve had at least one email pointing excitedly to it, and not ironically.) This isn’t surprising, because the thing about satire is that you either have to lay it on with a trowel, or get so close to the bone (eg The Thick Of It) that it’s indistinguishable from painful reality. It’s easy to do badly. And the site in question, National Report, does it really badly. It’s like Fox News, but with the jokes and facts taken out.
Even so, you’d hope people who read such “stories” might think a bit. Or that they might even look at other headlines on the site, and wonder if a site which has a story headlined “Apple iPhone 5s Fingerprint Data To Be Shared With NSA” but also has one headlined “Packers Embarrassing Loss to Bengals Linked To Green Bay Bridge Collapse” and “Taurus Firearms Company Introduces The New Trayvon PK-10 or ‘Perp-Killer’” is entirely serious. (It isn’t actually funny, especially the latter headline; if you’re easily offended, don’t read the story that goes with it. But that’s another matter.)
Let’s recap what we do know about the iPhone 5s‘s fingerprint system.