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A document on the NSA.gov website has stated that the government spy agency "touches" 1.6% of the huge 1,826 petabytes of data that crosses the data cables that makes up the Internet each day.
Of this data, the NSA flicks through 29PB of it, or 29 million gigabytes, which is quite the insane number. The NSA says that just 0.025% of that data is selected for review. The document states: "The net effect is that NSA analysts look at 0.00004 percent of the world's traffic in conducing their mission - that's less than one part in a million. Put another way, if a standard basketball court represented the global communications environment, NSA's collection would be represented by an area smaller than a dime on that basketball court."
Throughout the document, the NSA defends its legal basis, dismissing claims that it was conducting dragnet-style operations, except for the instances that fall under the umbrella of counter-terrorism and involve telephone metadata. You can read more on the document here, which is just filled with "it's okay, American citizens, we're not spying on you..."
We've been covering as much of the Edward Snowden news as possible, but it looks like there are plenty of other people and groups who think he's being treated unfairly. Over 150 civil society organizations from around the world are pressuring President Obama to end the prosecution of the NSA whistleblower.
Human rights, digital rights and media freedom campaigners from across the globe have joined together to call on the US administration to acknowledge Snowden as a whistleblower. They're wanting him protected, not persecuted. At the end of the day, all he has done has exposed the truth - something the US government and its various agencies have been using billions of dollars of tax payers' money to build, and then spy on those citizens with.
If Snowden is persecuted, it's going to stop other "whistleblowers" in the future from stepping forward. The US is already a police state, but if people are hunted down and murdered (Michael Hastings, for example), then we need to redefine the word "freedom."
One would think this is fear mongering, but it's real, and it's here. Security experts are now warning website operators to test their HTTPS traffic, as it might be vulnerable to a new crypto attack that can be used to take users' information.
The attack is called Browser Reconnaissance and Exfiltration via Adaptive Compression of Hypertext, or BREACH, and was detailed in a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) "BREACH vulnerability in compressed HTTPS" advisory issued on Friday. The DHS warned that "a sophisticated attacker may be able to derive plaintext secrets from the ciphertext in an HTTPS stream."
The vulnerability was exposed last Thursday at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas by Salesforce.com Lead Product Security Engineer, Neal Harris, along with Salesforce.com Lead Security Engineer, Yoel Gluck. Their HTTPS crypto attack can watch "the size of the cipher text received by the browser while triggering a number of strategically crafted requests to a target site" according to exploit details provided to the DHS by Prado.
I've said it once, and I'll say it again, there is no privacy anymore. If you're connected to an electronic device, or live in a country with electricity and technology, then you're monitored in one way or another. But just how bad can it get?
Well, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have been receiving tips from the National Security Agency (NSA). DEA officials in a highly secret office dubbed the Special Operations Division (SOD) are assigned to handle tips from the NSA. These tips are added to a DEA database that includes "intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records."
The SOD's work is completely classified, so that DEA cases that started from NSA tips can't be tracked back to the NSA as its source. But what exactly does the DEA do? Well, they create a story of how they came to the case, in something they call "parallel construction," reports Reuters. Reuters explains this: "Some defense lawyers and former prosecutors said that using "parallel construction" may be legal to establish probable cause for an arrest. But they said employing the practice as a means of disguising how an investigation began may violate pretrial discovery rules by burying evidence that could prove useful to criminal defendants."
After working for three years with TweakTown, I never thought I'd be typing the words "Justin Bieber" into a news post, but here I am. The teen pop sensation has a new enemy in Anonymous after he wore the iconic Guy Fawkes, or "anonymous" mask. Anonymous has struck back, creating a Facebook event with the tag #OPButtHurtForBieber. The creator of the page says:
Greetings citizens of the world we are Anonymous!
It has come to are attention that Justin Bieber has made mockery of anonymous
we now unite and make it known to justin that anonymous are not to be taken lightly
flood his Twitter and Facebook
We Are Anonymous
We Do Not Forgive
We Do Not Forget
I don't think anything will happen, but Bieber's Facebook or Twitter pages could be hacked in the coming days. Or maybe 1000 Anonymous people will spit on Bieber from a rooftop, maybe.
It looks like conspiracy theorists aren't so crazy after all, with the last couple of weeks proving them more and more right. Well, now we're getting told about yet another NSA spy program: XKeyscore.
What is XKeyscore? Well, we'll let the NSA tell you: XKeyscore is their "widest reaching" system for developing intelligence from the Internet. XKeyscore gives NSA analysts the ability to search through the entire database of your information, without any authorization whatsoever. This means they don't require a warrant, court clearance, or any signature from anyone above their pay grade.
All an NSA analyst must do is complete a simple on-screen form, and just mere seconds later your online history appears before their eyes. The NSA claims that XKeyscore covers "nearly everything a typical user does on the Internet."
Edward Snowden, the former NSA employee who blew the whistle on PRISM, has been sitting in a isolated room at the Moscow Airport since June 23 and has not been allowed to leave or fly to another country. Today, he met with his lawyer in hopes of seeing his temporary request for asylum granted.
Today around 2:18 BST, Snowden met with his Russian Lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, and shortly there after, the lawyer addressed the press saying that Snowden would be staying in the airport's transit zone for now. He said that the immigration officials are still looking at the request for asylum and are drawing the process out. Snowden withdrew the permanent request and filled a temporary one which would allow him up to one year, but comments from Kucherena seem to sound like Snowden might stay in Russia permanently.
He is not planning to leave for now. He asked for temporary asylum, which in the case of a positive decision, is granted for a term of one year. Currently his final country of destination is Russia.
He's planning to arrange his life here [Russia]. He [Snowden] plans to get a job. And, I think, that all his further decisions will be made considering the situation he found himself in.
Starbucks has began upgrading its Silicon Valley stores to include wireless charging tables that allow a patron's wireless device to get a boost of energy while their owners get their much needed recharge as well. The company says that 10 of its stores located in Silicon Valley are getting tables that are outfitted with high-tech Duracell Powermat equipment.
"More and more customers are using Starbucks as their home base, and they are looking to recharge in a number of ways," said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer, Starbucks Coffee Company, in a statement to the press. "We have seen positive customer response to wireless charging through our tests in Boston and are pleased to now extend this experience for our customers in the Silicon Valley area."
Unfortunately, not all wireless charging platforms are compatible with the tables as there are at least three different wireless charging standards out at the moment. The company says that the tables are compatible with those that adhere to the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standards which have been adopted by Google, BlackBerry, HTC, LG, Samsung, ZTE, and a few other brands.
Today, Reuters has reported that Yandex Co-Founder and CIO of the Russian search giant Yandex has been pronounced brain dead. Llya Segalovich was recently diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer and has been receiving treatment for some time now and this turn of events came abruptly and was quite unexpected.
"Mr. Segalovich had been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer and was responding well to treatment and working a full schedule, before unexpectedly succumbing to complications last night," the Russian company said in a statement at 10:55 a.m. in Moscow, after receiving information that he had died.
"We want to clarify an earlier statement that the company put out. We have since learnt that Ilya is in coma and on life support although not showing any brain function. Our thoughts are with him at this time," Arkady Volozh said on a conference call later in the day.
Segalovich co-founded the business over two decades ago with Volozh when they created software that allowed searching The Bible based on context, and then in 2007 they created Yandex.ru, Russia's largest Internet search engine. Back in March, Segalovich sold off 0.2 million of his shares and had planned on donating the money to charity. This left him with 2.5 percent of the company, while Volozh retained 10.5 percent.
Here's a list of the US Congressmen who voted for, and against the amendment to stop the NSA spying on the world
Ah, US politics - it's all a House of Cards. Well, the NSA nearly had their funding cut earlier today, but there were more 'for' votes than 'against' votes with Congress today.
Representative Justin Amash presented an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill, which would have seen the NSA lose their ability to use tax payers money to spy on everyone. TechCrunch embedded a Scribd document, where you can see all of the members' votes. It's interesting, to see just who is with the Americans, and who is not.
We're not trying to start anything here, but any Congressmen who votes for the spying of the American people doesn't sound too patriotic now, do they? Check out the list here.