Sweden Withdraws Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange, but He Still Faces Serious Legal Jeopardy

The termination of the Swedish investigation is, in one sense, good news for Assange. But it is unlikely to change his inability to leave the embassy any time soon. If anything, given the apparent determination of the Trump administration to put him in a U.S. prison cell for the “crime” of publishing documents, his freedom appears further away than it has since 2010, when the Swedish case began.

Fuente: Sweden Withdraws Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange, but He Still Faces Serious Legal Jeopardy


WikiLeaks publishes ‘biggest ever leak of secret CIA documents’ | Media | The Guardian

The US intelligence agencies are facing fresh embarrassment after WikiLeaks published what it described as the biggest ever leak of confidential documents from the CIA detailing the tools it uses to break into phones, communication apps and other electronic devices.

Fuente: WikiLeaks publishes ‘biggest ever leak of secret CIA documents’ | Media | The Guardian


WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Hillary Clinton emails | Daily Mail Online

Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and associate of Julian Assange, told the Dailymail.com he flew to Washington, D.C. for emails. He claims he had a clandestine hand-off in a wooded area near American University with one of the email sources. The leakers’ motivation was ‘disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the ’tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders’Murray says: ‘The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks’

Fuente: WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Hillary Clinton emails | Daily Mail Online


The NSA’s British Base at the Heart of U.S. Targeted Killing

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.

Fuente: The NSA’s British Base at the Heart of U.S. Targeted Killing


Court refuses request to force alleged hacker to divulge passwords | Technology | The Guardian

An alleged hacker fighting extradition to the US will not have to give the passwords for his encrypted computers to British law enforcement officers, following a landmark legal ruling.

Fuente: Court refuses request to force alleged hacker to divulge passwords | Technology | The Guardian


Exclusive: Snowden intelligence docs reveal UK spooks' malware checklist / Boing Boing

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 …

Fuente: Exclusive: Snowden intelligence docs reveal UK spooks’ malware checklist / Boing Boing


Apple's Tim Cook defends encryption. When will other tech CEOs do so? | Trevor Timm | Opinion | The Guardian

More high-profile titans need to use their platforms to make crystal clear how important encryption is to users everywhere

Fuente: Apple’s Tim Cook defends encryption. When will other tech CEOs do so? | Trevor Timm | Opinion | The Guardian


Edward Snowden's message to Guardian readers – video | Membership | The Guardian

Edward Snowden’s message to Guardian readers – video | Membership | The Guardian.

Guardian defence and intelligence correspondent Ewen MacAskill reads out a message to Guardian readers at a Members’ screening of Citizenfour in London. MacAskill joined editor-in-chief Alan Rusbriger, Janine Gibson and Stuart Millar to discuss the Snowden story in Kings Place on 2 March 2015.


ARGENPRESS.info – Prensa argentina para todo el mundo: Espionaje de Estados Unidos: El cuento de nunca acabar

ARGENPRESS.info – Prensa argentina para todo el mundo: Espionaje de Estados Unidos: El cuento de nunca acabar.

lunes, 2 de marzo de 2015

Carmen Esquivel (PL)

Cuando aún está fresco en la memoria el escándalo por el espionaje masivo contra ciudadanos, instituciones y hasta dignatarios europeos, el tema vuelve a la palestra al revelarse ahora que otros objetivos estuvieron en la mira de los servicios de inteligencia estadounidenses.

El nuevo blanco de los ataques es la compañía holandesa Gemalto, primera de su tipo en el mundo en la fabricación de tarjetas SIM (Subscriber Identity Module), en español Módulo de Identificación de Abonados, usada en teléfonos celulares y módems.

Para dar una idea de la magnitud de lo que esto significa baste señalar que la firma produce cerca de dos mil millones de estos dispositivos al año para 450 empresas de telecomunicaciones, entre ellas T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange, Verizon y Sprint.

Gemalto trabaja, además, con unas tres mil instituciones financieras porque elabora chips para tarjetas de crédito.

De acuerdo con documentos filtrados recientemente por Edward Snowden, ex analista de la Agencia Nacional de Seguridad (NSA, por sus siglas en inglés), las inteligencias estadounidense y británica lograron apropiarse de las claves de la compañía, lo cual les abrió las puertas a los celulares de medio mundo.

La NSA y el Cuartel General de Comunicaciones del gobierno de Gran Bretaña (GCHQ) obtuvieron las llaves al acceder a los servidores centrales de Gemalto, valiéndose de información privada de algunos ingenieros, fabricantes de tarjetas y proveedores.

De esta manera pudieron espiar las llamadas, mensajes y correos electrónicos de una persona o empresa sin necesidad de pasar por una operadora o de obtener una orden judicial y, lo más alarmante, sin dejar ningún tipo de rastro.

“Es imposible saber cuántos códigos robaron la NSA y el GCHQ, pero si nos basamos en hipótesis modestas, el número es impresionante”, afirmó el sitio digital The Intercept, que filtró la información.


Gemalto Doesn't Know What It Doesn't Know – The Intercept

Gemalto Doesn’t Know What It Doesn’t Know – The Intercept.

Featured photo - Gemalto Doesn’t Know What It Doesn’t Know

Gemalto CEO Olivier Piou shows a cellphone SIM card before a press conference on February 25, 2015 in Paris.

Gemalto, the French-Dutch digital security giant, confirmed that it believes American and British spies were behind a “particularly sophisticated intrusion” of its internal computer networks, as reported by The Intercept last week.

This morning, the company tried to downplay the significance of NSA and GCHQ efforts against its mobile phone encryption keys — and, in the process, made erroneous statements about cellphone technology and sweeping claims about its own security that experts describe as highly questionable.

Gemalto, which is the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, launched an internal investigation after The Intercept six days ago revealed that the NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ hacked the company and cyberstalked its employees. In the secret documents, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the intelligence agencies described a successful effort to obtain secret encryption keys used to protect hundreds of millions of mobile devices across the globe.

The company was eager to address the claims that its systems and encryption keys had been massively compromised. At one point in stock trading after publication of the report, Gemalto suffered a half billion dollar hit to its market capitalization. The stock only partially recovered in the following days.

After the brief investigation, Gemalto now says that the NSA and GCHQ operations in 2010-2011 would not allow the intelligence agencies to spy on 3G and 4G networks, and that theft would have been rare after 2010, when it deployed a “secure transfer system.” The company also said the spy agency hacks only affected “the outer parts of our networks — our office networks — which are in contact with the outside world.”

Security experts and cryptography specialists immediately challenged Gemalto’s claim to have done a “thorough” investigation into the state-sponsored attack in just six days, saying the company was greatly underestimating the abilities of the NSA and GCHQ to penetrate its systems without leaving detectable traces.

“Gemalto learned about this five-year-old hack by GCHQ when the The Intercept called them up for a comment last week. That doesn’t sound like they’re on top of things, and it certainly suggests they don’t have the in-house capability to detect and thwart sophisticated state-sponsored attacks,” says Christopher Soghoian, the chief technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union. He adds that Gemalto remains “a high-profile target for intelligence agencies.”

Matthew Green, a cryptography specialist at the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute, said, “This is an investigation that seems mainly designed to produce positive statements. It is not an investigation at all.”


In Historic Ruling, UK Surveillance Secrecy Declared Unlawful – The Intercept

In Historic Ruling, UK Surveillance Secrecy Declared Unlawful – The Intercept.

Featured photo - In Historic Ruling, UK Surveillance Secrecy Declared Unlawful

The United Kingdom’s top surveillance agency has acted unlawfully by keeping details about the scope of its Internet spying operations secret, a British court ruled in an unprecedented judgment issued on Friday.

Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, was found to have breached human rights laws by concealing information about how it accesses surveillance data collected by its American counterpart, the National Security Agency.

The ruling was handed down by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, a special court that handles complaints related to covert surveillance operations conducted by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. In its 15-year history, the tribunal has never before upheld a complaint against any intelligence agencies.

The legal challenge was brought by human rights groups, including Privacy International and Liberty, following disclosures from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The groups alleged that GCHQ was unlawfully obtaining data through the NSA’s online spying program PRISM, which collects data stored by Internet giants such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Yahoo. The groups also focused on GCHQ’s role in obtaining private communications swept up by the NSA directly from internet cables, known as so-called “upstream” collection.


Mass surveillance is fundamental threat to human rights, says European report | World news | The Guardian

Mass surveillance is fundamental threat to human rights, says European report | World news | The Guardian.

Europe’s top rights body says scale of NSA spying is ‘stunning’ and suggests UK powers may be at odds with rights convention

Intelligence agencies may be hoovering up data on a massive scale.
Intelligence agencies and their allies may be hoovering up data on a massive scale.Photograph: Fleix Clay, Graeme Robertson, Getty Images

Europe’s top rights body has said mass surveillance practices are a fundamental threat to human rights and violate the right to privacy enshrined in European law.

The parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe says in a report that it is “deeply concerned” by the “far-reaching, technologically advanced systems” used by the US and UK to collect, store and analyse the data of private citizens. It describes the scale of spying by the US National Security Agency, revealed by Edward Snowden, as “stunning”.


Ex-MI6 chief calls for new compact between internet firms and spy agencies | UK news | The Guardian

Ex-MI6 chief calls for new compact between internet firms and spy agencies | UK news | The Guardian.

Sir John Sawers says Snowden revelations shattered informal relationship but cooperation is necessary to prevent attacks

 

 

Former MI6 chief Sir John Sawers
Sir John Sawers said it was impossible to monitor terrorist activities without intruding upon the lives of others. Photograph: Elyse Marks/Edelman/PA

 

The former head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, has called for a new surveillance compact between internet companies and the security services in the UK and US in the wake of the Snowden revelations.

 

In his first speech since standing down as “C” at the end of last year, Sawers said the two could work together as they had in the past to prevent a repeat of events such as the Charlie Hebdo attack, the always present threats from militant Islamists in places such as Yemen, and the advance of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

 

In other parts of the speech, he aligned himself with Pope Francis in calling for restraint in offending the religious sensitivities of others after the Paris attack. He also, surprisingly, distanced MI6 from the CIA over what he called “lethal” operations.

 

Sawers, who is going into the private sector after decades in the Foreign Office and latterly at MI6, said the Snowden revelations in 2013 had shattered the previous informal relationship between tech companies and the surveillance agencies.

 

Companies such as Google and Microsoft had suffered a consumer backlash as a result of the revelations and are increasingly unwilling to cooperate to the same degree, creating a headache for the surveillance agencies in the US and the UK.


Barack Obama and David Cameron fail to see eye to eye on surveillance | US news | The Guardian

Barack Obama and David Cameron fail to see eye to eye on surveillance | US news | The Guardian.


British prime minister takes tougher line on internet companies than US president at White House talks on Islamist threats

In Washington, David Cameron announces the creation of a joint group between the US and the UK to counter the rise of domestic violent extremism in the two countries

Barack Obama and David Cameron struck different notes on surveillance powers after the president conceded that there is an important balance to be struck between monitoring terror suspects and protecting civil liberties.

As Cameron warned the internet giants that they must do more to ensure they do not become platforms for terrorist communications, the US president said he welcomed the way in which civil liberties groups hold them to account by tapping them on the shoulder.

Obama agreed with the prime minister that there could be no spaces on the internet for terrorists to communicate that could not be monitored by the intelligences agencies, subject to proper oversight. But, unlike Cameron, the president encouraged groups to ensure that he and other leaders do not abandon civil liberties.

The prime minister adopted a harder stance on the need for big internet companies such as Facebook and Twitter to do more to cooperate with the surveillance of terror suspects. In an interview with Channel 4 News he said they had to be careful not to act as a communications platform for terrorists.


Maniobras de ciberguerra a orillas del Atlántico | Internacional | EL PAÍS

Maniobras de ciberguerra a orillas del Atlántico | Internacional | EL PAÍS.


EE UU y Reino Unido lanzan ejercicios y equipos mixtos de expertos para responder a la oleada de ataques informáticos

 /  /  Londres / Washington / Madrid 17 ENE 2015 – 02:33CET2

Cameron y Obama en Washington / E.V. (AP) / VÍDEO: REUTERS LIVE

A lo largo de 2015 los poderosos sectores financieros de Estados Unidos y Reino Unido, posiblemente el Banco de Inglaterra y Wall Street, serán objeto de un ciberataque. Será, en realidad, un ataque ficticio. Un simulacro. El primero de una serie de ejercicios conjuntos entre los servicios de espionaje, que se producirán en el marco de un acuerdo “sin precedentes” entre los dos aliados, para poner a prueba los mecanismos de seguridad en las “infraestructuras nacionales críticas” ante la amenaza de los cibercriminales.

Así lo confirmaron el viernes en Washington el primer ministro británico, el conservador David Cameron, y el presidente estadounidense, Barack Obama. “Dado el urgente y creciente peligro de los ciberataques, hemos decidido expandir nuestra cooperación en ciberseguridad para proteger nuestra infraestructura más crítica, nuestros negocios y la privacidad de nuestros pueblos”, dijo Obama.

A renglón seguido, el primer ministro británico coincidió en la necesidad de forjar una estructura conjunta que pueda proteger “mejor” a sus países ante los ciberataques, en referencia al asalto atribuido a Corea del Norte contra la compañía Sony a finales de año o el que esta semana afectó a la cuenta en Twitter del Mando Central de EE UU, lanzado presuntamente por simpatizantes del Estado Islámico (EI).

Cameron, que ya adelantó los planes conjuntos de ambos aliados antes de reunirse con Obama, ha intensificado, tras el ataque contra el semanario francés Charlie Hebdo, su campaña para lograr que los Gobiernos dispongan de más poderes para acceder a la actividad en Internet de los sospechosos de terrorismo, y busca aliados en su empeño.


Edward Snowden condemns Britain's emergency surveillance bill | World news | The Guardian

Edward Snowden condemns Britain’s emergency surveillance bill | World news | The Guardian.

be rushed through after government ignored issue for a year

Link to video: Edward Snowden: rush to pass British surveillance law is extraordinary

The NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has condemned the newsurveillance bill being pushed through the UK’s parliament this week, expressing concern about the speed at which it is being done, lack of public debate, fear-mongering and what he described as increased powers of intrusion.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian in Moscow, Snowden said it was very unusual for a public body to pass an emergency law such as this in circumstances other than a time of total war. “I mean we don’t have bombs falling. We don’t have U-boats in the harbour.”

Suddenly it is a priority, he said, after the government had ignored it for an entire year. “It defies belief.”

He found the urgency with which the British government was moving extraordinary and said it mirrored a similar move in the US in 2007 when the Bush administration was forced to introduce legislation, the Protect America Act, citing the same concerns about terrorist threats and theNSA losing cooperation from telecom and internet companies.

“I mean the NSA could have written this draft,” he said. “They passed it under the same sort of emergency justification. They said we would be at risk. They said companies will no longer cooperate with us. We’re losing valuable intelligence that puts the nation at risk.”

His comments chime with British civil liberties groups who, having had time to read the small print, are growing increasingly sceptical about government claims last week that the bill is a stop-gap that will not increase the powers of the surveillance agencies.

David Cameron, searching for cross-party support, assured the Liberal Democrats and Labour that there would be no extension of the powers.

But internal Home Office papers seen by the Guardian appear to confirm that there would be an expansion of powers. Campaigners argue that the bill contains new and unprecedented powers for the UK to require overseas companies to comply with interception warrants and communications data acquisition requests and build interception capabilities into their products and infrastructure.

The interview with Snowden, in a city centre hotel, lasted seven hours. One of only a handful of interviews since he sought asylum in Russia a year ago, it was wide-ranging, from the impact of the global debate he unleashed on surveillance and privacy to fresh insights into life inside theNSA. The full interview will be published later this week.


The "Cuban Twitter" Scam Is a Drop in the Internet Propaganda Bucket – The Intercept

The “Cuban Twitter” Scam Is a Drop in the Internet Propaganda Bucket – The Intercept.

By 
Featured photo - The “Cuban Twitter” Scam Is a Drop in the Internet Propaganda BucketA woman uses her cellphone as she sits on the Malecon in Havana, Cuba. Image credit: Franklin Reyes/AP

This week, the Associated Press exposed a secret program run by the U.S. Agency for International Development to create “a Twitter-like Cuban communications network” run through “secret shell companies” in order to create the false appearance of being a privately owned operation. Unbeknownst to the service’s Cuban users was the fact that “American contractors were gathering their private data in the hope that it might be used for political purposes”–specifically, to manipulate those users in order to foment dissent in Cuba and subvert its government. According to top-secret documents published today by The Intercept, this sort of operation is frequently discussed at western intelligence agencies, which have plotted ways to covertly use social media for ”propaganda,” “deception,” “mass messaging,” and “pushing stories.”

These ideas–discussions of how to exploit the internet, specifically social media, to surreptitiously disseminate viewpoints friendly to western interests and spread false or damaging information about targets–appear repeatedly throughout the archive of materials provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Documents prepared by NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ–and previously published by The Intercept as well as some by NBC News–detailed several of those programs, including a unit devoted in part to “discrediting” the agency’s enemies with false information spread online.

The documents in the archive show that the British are particularly aggressive and eager in this regard, and formally shared their methods with their U.S. counterparts. One previously undisclosed top-secret documentprepared by GCHQ for the 2010 annual “SIGDEV” gathering of the “Five Eyes” surveillance alliance comprising the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S.–explicitly discusses ways to exploit Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media as secret platforms for propaganda.


Julian Assange tells SXSW audience: ‘NSA has grown to be a rogue agency’ | Media | theguardian.com

Julian Assange tells SXSW audience: ‘NSA has grown to be a rogue agency’ | Media | theguardian.com.

• Wikileaks founder: ‘All of us have to do something’
• Interview conducted from Ecuador’s London embassy
• Snowden and Greenwald also set to appear at SXSW

Julian Assange
Julian Assange, here pictured in December 2013, told SXSW ‘all of us have to do something’ about government surveillance. Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

The Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Saturday told an audience in Texas that people power is the key to rolling back the power of the National Security Agency and other surveillance agencies.

“We have to do something about it. All of us have to do something about it,” he said, in an interview at the SXSW conference in Austin. “How can individuals do something about it? Well, we’ve got no choice.”

Assange was speaking in a “virtual” conversation conducted by video from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been confinedsince June 2012. The NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald will appear in similar sessions over the coming days.

Interviewed by Benjamin Palmer of the marketing agency the Barbarian Group, Assange discussed issues including government surveillance, online democracy and the future of the internet.

On life within the embassy, he said: “It is a bit like prison. Arguably prison is far worse in relation to restrictions on visitors, for example, and the level of bureaucracy involved.” Noting that at any given point there are about a dozen police officers stationed outside, he said: “The UK government has admitted to spending $8m so far just on the police surveillance of the embassy.”

Asked for his views on what governments should be doing, after the NSA revelations, about the way surveillance agencies interact with people, Assange said: “The NSA has grown to be a rogue agency. It has grown to be unfettered … the ability to surveil everyone on the planet is almost there, and arguably will be there within a few years. And that’s led to a huge transfer of power from the people who are surveilled upon, to those who control the surveillance complex.”

Assange talked about a historical “PR campaign based on not existing” for the NSA, which he said had been swept away by the revelations prompted by Snowden’s leaking of thousands of documents to media outlets including the Guardian.

“That let everyone see that somehow this was an important element of power, and it had been developed unnoticed to people,” he said. “How had it come to this? How is it that the internet that everyone looked upon as perhaps the greatest tool of human emancipation there had ever been, had been co-opted and was now involved in the most aggressive form of state surveillance ever seen?”

Assange said the NSA’s traditional practice of not responding to press reports – “to give no oxygen” – would have to be replaced, although he suggested the Pentagon rather than the NSA would guide any new strategy.

“The internet four years ago was a politically apathetic space,” he said, noting that exceptions included the Anonymous group, albeit on an “amateur” basis. Assange suggested that publicity around some of his own organisation’s bigger revelations had opened the eyes of more internet users.


Senators to investigate NSA role in GCHQ 'Optic Nerve' webcam spying | World news | theguardian.com

Senators to investigate NSA role in GCHQ ‘Optic Nerve’ webcam spying | World news | theguardian.com.

Three senators condemn UK spy agency’s ‘breathtaking lack of respect’ over interception of Yahoo users’ webcam images

Keith Alexander NSA
US navy admiral Cecil Haney, left, and NSA director Keith Alexander testify before the Senate on Thursday. Photograph: Gary Cameron/Reuters

Three US senators are planning to investigate any role the National Security Agency played in its British partner’s mass collection of Yahoo webcam images.

Reacting to the Guardian’s revelation on Thursday that UK surveillance agency GCHQ swept up millions of Yahoo users’ webcam chats, senators Ron Wyden, Mark Udall and Martin Heinrich said in a joint statement that “any involvement of US agencies in the alleged activities reported today will need to be closely scrutinized”.

The senators described the interception as a “breathtaking lack of respect for privacy and civil liberties”.

On Friday, the Internet Association – a trade body representing internet giants including Google, Amazon, eBay, Netflix, AOL and Twitter – joined the chorus of condemnation, issuing a statement expressing alarm at the latest GCHQ revelations, and calling for reform.

According to documents provided to the Guardian by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the GCHQ program codenamed Optic Nerve fed screengrabs of webcam chats and associated metadata into NSA tools such as Xkeyscore.


Revelan que inteligencia británica interceptó imágenes de webcams de usuarios de Yahoo! – BioBioChile

Revelan que inteligencia británica interceptó imágenes de webcams de usuarios de Yahoo! – BioBioChile.

Eirik Refsdal (cc) | Flickr

Eirik Refsdal (cc) | Flickr

Publicado por Gabriela Ulloa | La Información es de Agencia AFP
La agencia de espionaje británica GCHQ, con ayuda de la estadounidense NSA, interceptó imágenes de cámaras web de millones de usuarios de Yahoo!, informó el diario británico The Guardian.

Durante los primeros seis meses de 2008, un programa del GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) recopiló planos de conversaciones en video de más de 1,8 millones de titulares de cuentas de Yahoo!, afirmó The Guardian citando documentos filtrados por el ex analista estadounidense Edward Snowden, refugiado en Moscú.

Entre esas imágenes, figuran “una cantidad sustancial de comunicaciones explícitamente sexuales”, añadió el diario en el artículo publicado en su edición en Internet.

El programa, bautizado Nervio Óptico (Optic Nerve), fue puesto en marcha en 2008 y seguía operativo en 2012, según un documento interno del GCHQ. Las imágenes recopiladas no eran necesariamente de sospechosos.


NSA and GCHQ target 'leaky' phone apps like Angry Birds to scoop user data | World news | theguardian.com

NSA and GCHQ target ‘leaky’ phone apps like Angry Birds to scoop user data | World news | theguardian.com.

 

• US and UK spy agencies piggyback on commercial data
• Details can include age, location and sexual orientation
• Documents also reveal targeted tools against individual phones

 

Angry Birds
GCHQ documents use Angry Birds – reportedly downloaded more than 1.7bn times – as a case study for app data collection.

The National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have been developing capabilities to take advantage of “leaky” smartphone apps, such as the wildly popular Angry Birds game, that transmit users’ private information across the internet, according to top secret documents.

The data pouring onto communication networks from the new generation of iPhone and Android apps ranges from phone model and screen size to personal details such as age, gender and location. Some apps, the documents state, can share users’ most sensitive information such as sexual orientation – and one app recorded in the material even sends specific sexual preferences such as whether or not the user may be a swinger.

Many smartphone owners will be unaware of the full extent this information is being shared across the internet, and even the most sophisticated would be unlikely to realise that all of it is available for the spy agencies to collect.

Dozens of classified documents, provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden and reported in partnership with the New York Times and ProPublica, detail the NSA and GCHQ efforts to piggyback on this commercial data collection for their own purposes.

Scooping up information the apps are sending about their users allows the agencies to collect large quantities of mobile phone data from their existing mass surveillance tools – such as cable taps, or from international mobile networks – rather than solely from hacking into individual mobile handsets.

Exploiting phone information and location is a high-priority effort for the intelligence agencies, as terrorists and other intelligence targets make substantial use of phones in planning and carrying out their activities, for example by using phones as triggering devices in conflict zones. The NSA has cumulatively spent more than $1bn in its phone targeting efforts.

The disclosures also reveal how much the shift towards smartphone browsing could benefit spy agencies’ collection efforts.

golden nugget
A May 2010 NSA slide on the agency’s ‘perfect scenario’ for obtaining data from mobile apps. Photograph: Guardian

One slide from a May 2010 NSA presentation on getting data from smartphones – breathlessly titled “Golden Nugget!” – sets out the agency’s “perfect scenario”: “Target uploading photo to a social media site taken with a mobile device. What can we get?”

The question is answered in the notes to the slide: from that event alone, the agency said it could obtain a “possible image”, email selector, phone, buddy lists, and “a host of other social working data as well as location”.


Agencia de Seguridad Nacional de EEUU accede a millones de SMS cada día – BioBioChile

Agencia de Seguridad Nacional de EEUU accede a millones de SMS cada día – BioBioChile.

Publicado por Alberto Gonzalez | La Información es de Agencia AFPImagen de Archivo | Pablo Ovalle / AgenciaUno

Imagen de Archivo | Pablo Ovalle / AgenciaUno

La Agencia de Seguridad Nacional (NSA) de Estados Unidos accede a 200 millones de mensajes telefónicos de texto (SMS) cada día de manera indiscriminada, informó el jueves el diario británico The Guardian.

Esta información, procedente de una investigación entre el diario y la cadena de televisión Channel 4, se basa en los documentos transmitidos por el ex informático del NSA Edward Snowden, refugiado en Rusia.

El programa del NSA sobre SMS, que tiene el nombre de “Dishfire”, accede “a casi todo lo que puede”, más que a las comunicaciones de personas concretas, dicen documentos del servicio de espionaje británico citados por The Guardian.

El diario cita además un documento de la NSA de 2011 titulado “Los SMS: una mina de oro a explotar”, que revela que Dishfire permitió acceder a 194 millones de mensajes por día en abril de aquel año.


NSA collects millions of text messages daily in 'untargeted' global sweep | World news | theguardian.com

NSA collects millions of text messages daily in ‘untargeted’ global sweep | World news | theguardian.com.

• NSA extracts location, contacts and financial transactions 
• ‘Dishfire’ program sweeps up ‘pretty much everything it can’
• GCHQ using database to search metadata from UK numbers

 • Dishfire presentation on text message collection – key extracts

Texting on BlackBerry mobile phone
The NSA has made extensive use of its text message database to extract information on people under no suspicion of illegal activity. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA

The National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top-secret documents.

The untargeted collection and storage of SMS messages – including their contacts – is revealed in a joint investigation between the Guardian and the UK’s Channel 4 News based on material provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The documents also reveal the UK spy agency GCHQ has made use of the NSA database to search the metadata of “untargeted and unwarranted” communications belonging to people in the UK.

The NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects “pretty much everything it can”, according to GCHQ documents, rather than merely storing the communications of existing surveillance targets.

The NSA has made extensive use of its vast text message database to extract information on people’s travel plans, contact books, financial transactions and more – including of individuals under no suspicion of illegal activity.

An agency presentation from 2011 – subtitled “SMS Text Messages: A Goldmine to Exploit” – reveals the program collected an average of 194 million text messages a day in April of that year. In addition to storing the messages themselves, a further program known as “Prefer” conducted automated analysis on the untargeted communications.

sms1
An NSA presentation from 2011 on the agency’s Dishfire program to collect millions of text messages daily. Photograph: Guardian

GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief | UK news | The Guardian

GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief | UK news | The Guardian.

• Unicef and Médecins du Monde were on surveillance list
• Targets went well beyond potential criminals and terrorists
• Revelations could cause embarrassment at EU summit

 

 

 

Edward Snowden composite with GCHQ and fibre optics

The details of GCHQ and NSA targets are the latest revelations from documents leaked by Edward Snowden. Photograph: Guardian

 

British and American intelligence agencies had a comprehensive list of surveillance targets that included the EU’s competition commissioner, German government buildings in Berlin and overseas, and the heads of institutions that provide humanitarian and financial help to Africa, top secret documents reveal.

The papers show GCHQ, in collaboration with America’s National Security Agency (NSA), was targeting organisations such as the United Nations development programme, the UN’s children’s charity Unicef and Médecins du Monde, a French organisation that provides doctors and medical volunteers to conflict zones. The head of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) also appears in the documents, along with text messages he sent to colleagues.

The latest disclosures will add to Washington’s embarrassment following the heavy criticism of the NSA when it emerged that it had been tapping the mobile telephone of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

One GCHQ document, drafted in January 2009, makes clear the agencies were targeting an email address listed as belonging to another key American ally – the “Israeli prime minister”. Ehud Olmert was in office at the time. Three other Israeli targets appeared on GCHQ documents, including another email address understood to have been used to send messages between the then Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, and his chief of staff, Yoni Koren.

Britain’s targeting of Germany may also prove awkward for the prime minister, David Cameron; in October, he endorsed an EU statement condemning NSA spying on world leaders, including Merkel. They have both been in Brussels, attending an EU summit that concludes on Friday.


EE UU y Reino Unido espiaron a Israel, la UE, la ONU y Médicos del Mundo | Internacional | EL PAÍS

EE UU y Reino Unido espiaron a Israel, la UE, la ONU y Médicos del Mundo | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

 

Snowden en 2013. / The Guardian (AFP)

Documentos secretos revelan que los servicios secretos británicos, GCHQ, y estadounidenses, NSA, tenían más de 1.000 objetivos de vigilancia en los últimos años. Entre ellos está la oficina de un primer ministro israelí, responsables de organizaciones internacionales de ayuda humanitaria, compañías energéticas y el comisario europeo de la Competencia, el español Joaquín Almunia, involucrado en batallas antimonopolio con empresas tecnológicas estadounidenses como Google, Microsoft o Intel, según revelan documentos secretos del más alto nivel. Las instalaciones del Gobierno alemán en todo el mundo también han sido sometidas a un seguimiento especial. Las operaciones se llevaron a cabo entre 2008 y 2011.

Los documentos muestran cómo el GCHQ, en colaboración con la NSA, vigiló a organizaciones como el Programa de Desarrollo de las Naciones Unidas, la agencia de la ONU para la infancia, Unicef e incluso a Médicos del Mundo, una organización francesa que proporciona a los médicos y voluntarios médicos a las zonas de conflicto. Leigh Daynes, director ejecutivo de la organización en Reino Unido, ha respondido a las noticias sobre la vigilancia afirmando que “no hay absolutamente ninguna razón para que nuestras operaciones sean espiadas”.


EE UU y Reino Unido espiaron el móvil del comisario europeo Joaquín Almunia | Internacional | EL PAÍS

EE UU y Reino Unido espiaron el móvil del comisario europeo Joaquín Almunia | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

 

Joaquín Almunia, en Bruselas, este miércoles 18 de diciembre de 2103. / OLIVIER HOSLET (EFE)

El espionaje de Estados Unidos y Reino Unido ha llegado hasta la cúpula de la Comisión Europea. La NSA (agencia de seguridad norteamericana, por sus siglas en inglés) espió al vicepresidente de la Comisión Europea Joaquín Almunia -hoy responsable de Competencia- en el periodo 2008-2009, según han explicado a este diario fuentes comunitarias. La vigilancia se produjo a través de su teléfono móvil en un momento en que Almunia ocupaba la cartera de Economía y Asuntos Monetarios en el Ejecutivo de la UE.

El político socialista es el primer alto cargo de las instituciones europeas del que se tiene constancia de un espionaje directo. Tras conocerse las escuchas a la canciller alemana, Angela Merkel, y a otros dirigentes europeos, los periodistas preguntaron a la Comisión Europea si alguno de sus miembros había sido espiado. Hasta ahora la respuesta había sido negativa.

La interceptación de llamadas y mensajes de móvil se produjo a finales de 2008 y principios de 2009, aseguran esas fuentes. Además de la NSA, en el espionaje participaron también los servicios de inteligencia británicos, GCHQ, que han participado de muchas de las operaciones de Washington y han realizado otras en solitario. Alemania ya pidió explicaciones a las autoridades británicas al descubrirse que la embajada de Reino Unido en Alemania contaba con un dispositivo para interceptar las comunicaciones en pleno centro de Berlín.

Las nuevas revelaciones sobre el vicepresidente de la Comisión Europea debilitan el principal argumento que ha empleado Washington cada vez que sus socios europeos han exigido explicaciones por la vigilancia masiva orquestada por la Administración estadounidense: el principal objetivo de las pesquisas es la lucha contra el terrorismo.


Former whistleblowers: open letter to intelligence employees after Snowden | Thomas Drake, Daniel Ellsberg, Katharine Gun, Peter Kofod, Ray McGovern, Jesselyn Radack, Coleen Rowley | Comment is free | theguardian.com

Former whistleblowers: open letter to intelligence employees after Snowden | Thomas Drake, Daniel Ellsberg, Katharine Gun, Peter Kofod, Ray McGovern, Jesselyn Radack, Coleen Rowley | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

Blowing the whistle on powerful factions is not a fun thing to do, but it is the last avenue for truth, balanced debate and democracy

 

 

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden’s revelations have changed the debate on civil liberties. Photograph: Ho/AFP/Getty Images

 

At least since the aftermath of September 2001, western governments and intelligence agencies have been hard at work expanding the scope of their own power, while eroding privacy, civil liberties and public control of policy. What used to be viewed as paranoid, Orwellian, tin-foil hat fantasies turned out post-Snowden, to be not even the whole story.

What’s really remarkable is that we’ve been warned for years that these things were going on: wholesale surveillance of entire populations, militarization of the internet, the end of privacy. All is done in the name of “national security”, which has more or less become a chant to fence off debate and make sure governments aren’t held to account – that they can’t be held to account – because everything is being done in the dark. Secret laws, secret interpretations of secret laws by secret courts and no effective parliamentary oversight whatsoever.

By and large the media have paid scant attention to this, even as more and more courageous, principled whistleblowers stepped forward. The unprecedented persecution of truth-tellers, initiated by the Bush administration and severely accelerated by the Obama administration, has been mostly ignored, while record numbers of well-meaning people are charged with serious felonies simply for letting their fellow citizens know what’s going on.


Edward Snowden voted Guardian person of the year 2013 | World news | theguardian.com

Edward Snowden voted Guardian person of the year 2013 | World news | theguardian.com.

NSA whistleblower’s victory, for exposing the scale of internet surveillance, follows that of Chelsea Manning last year
Edward Snowden

In May Edward Snowden flew to Hong Kong where he gave journalists the material which blew the lid on the extent of US digital spying. Photograph: The Guardian/AFP/Getty Images

For the second year in a row, a young American whistleblower alarmed at the unfettered and at times cynical deployment of power by the world’s foremost superpower has been voted the Guardian’s person of the year.

Edward Snowden, who leaked an estimated 200,000 files that exposed the extensive and intrusive nature of phone and internet surveillance and intelligence gathering by the US and its western allies, was the overwhelming choice of more than 2,000 people who voted.

The NSA whistleblower garnered 1,445 votes. In a distant second, from a list of 10 candidates chosen by Guardian writers and editors, cameMarco Weber and Sini Saarela, the Greenpeace activists who spearheaded the oil rig protest over Russian Arctic drilling. They received 314 votes. Pope Francis gained 153 votes, narrowly ahead of blogger and anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe, who received 144. Snowden’s victory was as decisive as Chelsea Manning’s a year earlier.


An open letter from Carl Bernstein to Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger | Media | theguardian.com

An open letter from Carl Bernstein to Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger | Media | theguardian.com.

Watergate scandal journalist’s letter comes as Guardian editor prepares to appear before MPs over Edward Snowden leaks

 

 

Carl Bernstein

Carl Bernstein, Watergate journalist and author, who has written a letter to the Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger, who is to be questioned by MPs over the NSA revelations. Photograph: Teri Pengilley

 

Dear Alan,

There is plenty of time – and there are abundant venues – to debate relevant questions about Mr Snowden’s historical role, his legal fate, the morality of his actions, and the meaning of the information he has chosen to disclose.

But your appearance before the Commons today strikes me as something quite different in purpose and dangerously pernicious: an attempt by the highest UK authorities to shift the issue from government policies and excessive government secrecy in the United States and Great Britain to the conduct of the press – which has been quite admirable and responsible in the case of the Guardian, particularly, and the way it has handled information initially provided by Mr Snowden.


The NSA and surveillance … made simple – video animation | World news | theguardian.com

The NSA and surveillance … made simple – video animation | World news | theguardian.com.

 

 

Confused about the NSA revelations? Do you wonder how the activities of GCHQ and the NSA affect you? Why have spies been monitoring Facebook, Gmail and Skype? And even if we are being watched online, how does that affect what we do? This animation, narrated by Jemima Kiss, explains what the disclosures mean for all of us


Estados Unidos espió con permiso a ciudadanos británicos no sospechosos | Internacional | EL PAÍS

Estados Unidos espió con permiso a ciudadanos británicos no sospechosos | Internacional | EL PAÍS.


Sede de la agencia británica de escuchas GCHQ, en Cheltenham (Reino Unido).

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Estados Unidos obtuvo permiso del espionaje de Reino Unido para “desenmascarar” y analizar los números de teléfono y de fax, correos electrónicos y direcciones IP de Internet de cualquier ciudadano británico, según un memorando secreto de 2007 de la Agencia Nacional de Seguridad (NSA, en sus siglas en inglés), la agencia estadounidense de escuchas, obtenido por el diario londinense The Guardian dentro del paquete de documentos que le entregó meses atrás el ex empleado subcontratado de la CIA Edward Snowden.

El memorando no explica quién en concreto dentro del Cuartel General de Comunicaciones del Gobierno(GCHQ, en sus siglas en inglés), la agencia de escuchas británica, autorizó esas actividades, ni si estas eran conocidas por el Gobierno laborista de la época. Hasta entonces, ese espionaje se limitaba a los teléfonos fijos.

El documento tiene importancia porque socava la tesis de que los países anglosajones que forman los llamados Cinco Ojos (Estados Unidos, Reino Unido, Canadá, Australia y Nueva Zelanda) no se espiaban entre sí.


US and UK struck secret deal to allow NSA to 'unmask' Britons' personal data | World news | theguardian.com

US and UK struck secret deal to allow NSA to ‘unmask’ Britons’ personal data | World news | theguardian.com.

• 2007 deal allows NSA to store previously restricted material
• UK citizens not suspected of wrongdoing caught up in dragnet
• Separate draft memo proposes US spying on ‘Five-Eyes’ allies

 

 

nsatear1460 View larger picture

The memo explains that the US and UK ‘worked together to come up with a new policy that expands the use of incidentally collected unminimized UK data.’

 

The phone, internet and email records of UK citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing have been analysed and stored by America’s National Security Agency under a secret deal that was approved by British intelligence officials, according to documents from the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In the first explicit confirmation that UK citizens have been caught up in US mass surveillance programs, an NSA memo describes how in 2007 an agreement was reached that allowed the agency to “unmask” and hold on to personal data about Britons that had previously been off limits.

The memo, published in a joint investigation by the Guardian and Britain’s Channel 4 News, says the material is being put in databases where it can be made available to other members of the US intelligence and military community.

Britain and the US are the main two partners in the ‘Five-Eyes’ intelligence-sharing alliance, which also includes Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Until now, it had been generally understood that the citizens of each country were protected from surveillance by any of the others.

But the Snowden material reveals that:

• In 2007, the rules were changed to allow the NSA to analyse and retain any British citizens’ mobile phone and fax numbers, emails and IP addresses swept up by its dragnet. Previously, this data had been stripped out of NSA databases – “minimized”, in intelligence agency parlance – under rules agreed between the two countries.

• These communications were “incidentally collected” by the NSA, meaning the individuals were not the initial targets of surveillance operations and therefore were not suspected of wrongdoing.

• The NSA has been using the UK data to conduct so-called “pattern of life” or “contact-chaining” analyses, under which the agency can look up to three “hops” away from a target of interest – examining the communications of a friend of a friend of a friend. Guardian analysis suggests three hops for a typical Facebook user could pull the data of more than 5 million people into the dragnet.

• A separate draft memo, marked top-secret and dated from 2005, reveals a proposed NSA procedure for spying on the citizens of the UK and other Five-Eyes nations, even where the partner government has explicitly denied the US permission to do so. The memo makes clear that partner countries must not be informed about this surveillance, or even the procedure itself.


Why NSA's war on terror is more than just a 'neat' hacking game | World news | The Observer

Why NSA’s war on terror is more than just a ‘neat’ hacking game | World news | The Observer.

Edward Snowden’s revelations show how British and US spies have compromised e-commerce and civil liberties with a series of clever coding stunts
A smiley face indicates how pleased the NSA was with this intrusion into Google's security system.

A smiley face indicates how pleased the NSA was with this intrusion into Google’s security system. Photograph: Washington Post

Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy. And then there’s Edward Snowden, who was a spy and then became something else. Nobody’s neutral about him. The other day I heard a senior military officer describe him unambiguously as “a thief”. In Washington he seems to be universally regarded as a traitor. Many people in Europe regard him as, at worst, a principled whistleblower and, at best, a hero in the Daniel Ellsberg mould.

Whatever you think about him, though, one thing is clear: Snowden is a pretty astute geek. The evidence for this is in the way he approached his whistleblowing task. Having concluded (as several other distinguished National Security Agency employees before him had) that the NSA had misinterpreted or overstepped its brief, he then identified prominent instances of agency overreach and for each category downloaded evidence that supported his conjecture.

We’re now getting to the point where we can begin to assess the bigger picture. What do the Snowden revelations tell us about what’s wrong with the NSA – and its leading overseas franchise, our own dear GCHQ?


US charges Briton with hacking into military and Nasa systems | World news | theguardian.com

US charges Briton with hacking into military and Nasa systems | World news | theguardian.com.

Lauri Love, 28, from Sussex, indicted over alleged cybercrimes against US defence and security networks

 

 

Pentagon staff

US military staff at the Pentagon: Love is charged with hacking into secure networks to gain classified information. Photograph: Rick Wilking/Reuters

 

A British man has been charged in the US with hacking into thousands of computer systems, including those of the US army and Nasa, in an alleged attempt to steal confidential data.

Lauri Love, 28, is accused of causing millions of pounds of damage to the US government with a year-long hacking campaign waged from his home in Stradishall, a village in Suffolk.

Love was arrested on Friday by the National Crime Agency, dubbed “Britain’s FBI”, after an international investigation led by the US army’s criminal investigation command.

His arrest was announced on Monday, after US prosecutors filed an indictment in a federal court in Newark, New Jersey.

US attorney Paul Fishman said: “According to the indictment, Lauri Love and conspirators hacked into thousands of networks, including many belonging to the United States military and other government agencies.


Cinco pares de ojos blancos y anglófonos | Internacional | EL PAÍS

Cinco pares de ojos blancos y anglófonos | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

 

El general Keith Alexander, director de la NSA el mes pasado. / JIM WATSON (AFP)

Estados Unidos y Reino Unido no están solos en su viaje por el espionaje global. Cuentan con la íntima colaboración de otras tres naciones anglosajonas: Australia, Canadá y Nueva Zelanda. Todos juntos forman lo que se conoce como Cinco Ojos, un exclusivo club blanco y de lengua inglesa cuyos socios se han juramentado para colaborar de la forma más estrecha posible intercambiando información de inteligencia y repartiéndose el globo terráqueo en sus rastreos.

Es un club que nació de la colaboración entre Estados Unidos y Reino Unido durante la II Guerra Mundial y se consolidó y amplió durante la guerra fría. Su puesta en marcha formal quedó recogida en el Acuerdo Británico Estadounidense de Comunicación de Inteligencia, conocido como UKUSA y firmado en 1946 con carácter de absoluto secreto, hasta el punto de que su existencia fue negada durante muchos años y se dice que el primer ministro de Australia no fue informado hasta 1973 de que su propio país se había sumado al club.


NSA surveillance: more revelations as EU leaders meet in Brussels | World news | theguardian.com

NSA surveillance: more revelations as EU leaders meet in Brussels | World news | theguardian.com.

Italian magazine reports allegedly vast scale of US and British spying, and Le Monde publishes another NSA documentl

EU summit, Brussels

The EU summit in Brussels was dominated by the ongoing revelations about the extent of US spying on its European allies. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

As European leaders met in Brussels on Friday, fresh revelations aboutNSA snooping continued to emerge, with an Italian magazine focusing attention on the allegedly vast scale of US and British surveillance of telephone and email communications in Italy.

The weekly L’Espresso magazine said it had learned that documents obtained by the whistleblower Edward Snowden showed the intensive monitoring of Italian telecoms networks by both the NSA and GCHQ.

Through their “more modern and more invasive” Tempora programme, the magazine wrote, the British intelligence services were allegedly able to collect large amounts of data, which they then shared “in total collaboration” with their close allies at the NSA.


Cameron se desmarca de sus socios y enarbola su apoyo a Washington | Internacional | EL PAÍS

Cameron se desmarca de sus socios y enarbola su apoyo a Washington | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

 

ampliar foto

David Cameron y Angela Merkel, hoy, en Bruselas. / YVES HERMAN (AFP)

Mientras los líderes de Francia, Alemania, Italia e incluso España muestran su indignación por las escuchas protagonizadas por los servicios de investigación estadounidenses, Reino Unido hace alarde de su relación privilegiada con Washington. Ni Londres ha sido víctima del espionaje que han sufrido otras capitales, ni quiere saber nada de ninguna entente europea que exija explicaciones a EE UU. “Tenemos servicios de inteligencia y los vamos a mantener. Criticaré a los que publican su trabajo porque eso ayuda a nuestros enemigos. Así de simple”, ha dicho tajante el primer ministro británico, David Cameron.

“El señor Snowden [el analista de la Agencia Nacional de Seguridad (NSA) que ha revelado las escuchas generalizadas] y algunos periódicos que lo publican van a hacer mucho más difícil mantener a nuestros países y a nuestra gente a salvo”, ha señalado el líder conservador tras el fin de la cumbre europea en la que Alemania y Francia han sacado adelante una iniciativa que en los dos próximos meses debería restaurar la confianza que las dos capitales europeas tienen en el Gobierno estadounidense. Las revelaciones, en fin, “no ayudarán a hacer el mundo más seguro, sino más peligroso”, ha resumido.


The NSA files: how they affect you – video animation | World news | theguardian.com

The NSA files: how they affect you – video animation | World news | theguardian.com.


Edward Snowden: public indifference is the real enemy in the NSA affair | World news | The Observer

Edward Snowden: public indifference is the real enemy in the NSA affair | World news | The Observer.

Most people don’t seem to worry that government agencies are collecting their personal data. Is it ignorance or apathy?

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden’s revelations exposed a terrifying level of ‘passive acceptance’ of surveillance. Photograph: Sergei Grits/AP

One of the most disturbing aspects of the public response to Edward Snowden‘s revelations about the scale of governmental surveillance is how little public disquiet there appears to be about it. A recent YouGov poll, for example, asked respondents whether the British security services have too many or too few powers to carry out surveillance on ordinary people. Forty-two per cent said that they thought the balance was “about right” and a further 22% thought that the security services did not have enough powers. In another question, respondents were asked whether they thought Snowden’s revelations were a good or a bad thing; 43% thought they were bad and only 35% thought they were good.

Writing in these pages a few weeks ago, Henry Porter expressed his own frustration at this public complacency. “Today, apparently,” he wrote, “we are at ease with a system of near total intrusion that would have horrified every adult Briton 25 years ago. Back then, western spies acknowledged the importance of freedom by honouring the survivors of those networks; now, they spy on their own people. We have changed, that is obvious, and, to be honest, I wonder whether I, and others who care about privacy and freedom, have been left behind by societies that accept surveillance as a part of the sophisticated world we live in.”

I share Henry’s bafflement. At one point I thought that the level of public complacency about the revelations was a reflection simply of ignorance. After all, most people who use the internet and mobile phones have no idea about how any of this stuff works and so may be naive about the implications of state agencies being able to scoop up everybody’s email metadata, call logs, click streams, friendship networks and so on.

But what is, in a way, more alarming is how relaxed many of my professional peers seem to be about it. Many of them are people who do understand how the stuff works. To them, Snowden’s revelations probably just confirm what they had kind of suspected all along. And yet the discovery that in less than three decades our societies have achieved Orwellian levels of surveillance provokes, at most, a wry smile or a resigned shrug. And it is this level of passive acceptance that I find really scary.


NSA and GCHQ target Tor network that protects anonymity of web users | World news | The Guardian

NSA and GCHQ target Tor network that protects anonymity of web users | World news | The Guardian.

• Top-secret documents detail repeated efforts to crack Tor
• US-funded tool relied upon by dissidents and activists
• Core security of network remains intact but NSA has some success attacking users’ computers
• Bruce Schneier: the NSA’s attacks must be made public
• Attacking Tor: the technical details
• ‘Peeling back the layers with Egotistical Giraffe’ – document
• ‘Tor Stinks’ presentation – full document
• Tor: ‘The king of high-secure, low-latency anonymity’

NSA laptop

One technique developed by the agency targeted the Firefox web browser used with Tor, giving the agency full control over targets’ computers. Photograph: Felix Clay

The National Security Agency has made repeated attempts to develop attacks against people using Tor, a popular tool designed to protect online anonymity, despite the fact the software is primarily funded and promoted by the US government itself.

Top-secret NSA documents, disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, reveal that the agency’s current successes against Tor rely on identifying users and then attacking vulnerable software on their computers. One technique developed by the agency targeted the Firefox web browser used with Tor, giving the agency full control over targets’ computers, including access to files, all keystrokes and all online activity.

But the documents suggest that the fundamental security of the Tor service remains intact. One top-secret presentation, titled ‘Tor Stinks’, states: “We will never be able to de-anonymize all Tor users all the time.” It continues: “With manual analysis we can de-anonymize a very small fraction of Tor users,” and says the agency has had “no success de-anonymizing a user in response” to a specific request.

Another top-secret presentation calls Tor “the king of high-secure, low-latency internet anonymity”.

Tor – which stands for The Onion Router – is an open-source public project that bounces its users’ internet traffic through several other computers, which it calls “relays” or “nodes”, to keep it anonymous and avoid online censorship tools.


Open door: The readers' editor on… the Guardian's coverage of government surveillance | Comment is free | The Guardian

Open door: The readers’ editor on… the Guardian’s coverage of government surveillance | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Readers have raised concerns about these stories, based on tens of thousands of secret documents disclosed by Edward Snowden, but few are critical of the decision to publish

An entry in former Labour MP Chris Mullin’s diary for 6 August 1999 describes one of his first days as a new minister. Two men visited him in his office to talk about security. He was one of five ministers in the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions whose responsibilities, in his case water and aviation, entitled them to see “STRAP 2 (Top Secret)” information.

Mullin reports the details of his conversation with the two men, one of whom he dubbed the Undertaker. He writes: “The Undertaker said, ‘Some of the people we have to negotiate with are pretty uncivilised.’ He added, ‘Mind, we also deal with some very civilised people – and we spy on them, too.’ The only people we don’t spy on are the Americans, the New Zealanders, Australians and Canadians, who are all part of a little club that has agreed to share the products of their bugging, burglary and bribery.”

It’s now more than three months since the Guardian began publishing stories about the hidden extent of the US and UK governments’ surveillance of their peoples. These stories have been based on tens of thousands of secret documents disclosed by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. We now know, because of him, quite a lot more about the two senior members of the “little club” of five, which includes the UK and is known as the “Five Eyes”. These documents have revealed the scale and nature of the mass surveillance carried out through the NSA and the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).


NSA encryption story, Latin American fallout and US/UK attacks on press freedoms | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | theguardian.com

NSA encryption story, Latin American fallout and US/UK attacks on press freedoms | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

I’m currently working on what I believe are several significant new NSAstories, to be published imminently here, as well as one very consequential story about NSA spying in Brazil that will first be broadcast Sunday night on the Brazilian television program Fantastico (because the report has worldwide implications, far beyond Brazil, it will be translated into English and then quickly published on the internet). Until then, I’m posting below the video of the 30-minute interview I did yesterday on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez about our NSA encryption story and ongoing US/UK attacks on press freedom (the transcript of that interview is here).

There has been some excellent commentary on the implications of the NSA/GCHQ encryption story we published this week. The LA Times’ Jim Healey says the story is “the most frightening” yet, and explains why he thinks that. The Bloomberg technology columnist David Meyer’s analysisof what this all means is worth reading in its entirety. In the Guardian, security expert Bruce Schneier, who has worked with us on a couple of soon-to-be-published stories, identifies 5 ways to maintain the privacy of your internet communications notwithstanding the efforts of the NSA and GCHQ to induce companies to build vulnerabilities into certain types of encryption.