NSA's PRISM system is quite the beast indeed, but now it is being revealed that the US security agency have been intercepting SSL traffic too - which is meant to be a secure link - after all, it stands for secure sockets layer.
Obviously not, as the US security agency have been using their PRISM system to gather and store huge quantities (see: all) of SSL encrypted data for later cryptanalysis. Netcraft also reports that this huge volume of data is logged so that if an SSL private key later becomes available, they can be decrypted.
There are 'legal' methods of getting these private keys: a court order, social engineering, an attack against the website, or through cryptanalysis. But, it's the NSA - do you really expect them to use legal means to break your encrypted data that they weren't meant to take in the first place? Yeah, I thought so.
Just over a year ago, Google finalize a deal to buy Motorola's Mobility division, and today we're finally seeing Google officially welcoming Motorola into the family. The Motorola logo was updated this afternoon to reflect a more Google-like appearance and inform the whole world that it is a Google owned company.
The new logo features the original Motorola "M" but it is now surrounded by a circular rainbow of colors similar to the ones used in Google branding. Now that Google has the new logo out-of-the-way, let's hope they can do the same with the crappy phones Motorola has been releasing for years now.
I say that because of the news today surrounding the Motorola X Phone. It appears to be nothing more than another rehash of the Atrix, Photon 4G, and Razr Max. Those of us who were loyal to Motorola were really hoping to see something innovative with the new X phone but it appears that will not be the case.
A criminal gang was arrested by Shijiazhuang police in Hebei province, China, earlier this month, with the gang being arrested due to them dealing in black market organs.
One of the organs they had dealt with belonged to an 18-year-old Chinese man surnamed Zhang from Gangsu province. He ran into money troubles because of video games, and as you do, you sell a body part. He reached out to an organ dealer to sell his kidney, where he was matched up with one online. The dealer asked Zhang to go to Shijiazhuang and sign a pre-sale agreement.
This agreement includes that the sale of his kidney is of his own volition, and that all consequences and issues are his responsibility. Zhang signed it without hesitation and went in for surgery. His kidney was sold for just $6,510 - but considering the going rate of a kidney in China is $47,000 - he must have been quite desperate.
Edward Snowden has covered himself well, has encrypted copies of NSA documents that would be sent to people if something were to happen to him
Edward Snowden is all over the news right now, but he has backed himself up well according to some reports. The NSA whistleblower (and pain in the US government's neck) has an encrypted copies of at least "thousands" of NSA documents that he has sent to "several people".
The Guardian report who first published Snowden's leaks, Glenn Greenwald, during an interview with the Daily Beast, said that Snowden "has taken extreme precautions to make sure many different people around the world have these archives to insure the stories will inevitably be published. If anything happens at all to Edward Snowden, he told me he has arranged for them to get access to the full archives."
Greenwald has said that he personally has thousands of documents that Snowden leaked from the NSA, where he adds: "I don't know for sure whether [Snowden] has more documents than the ones he has given me. I believe he does. He was clear he did not want to give to journalists things he did not think should be published."
Sony will put micro ads on the fingernails and uniform of a tennis player at Wimbledon, let the 4K marketing begin!
Sony are going to be pushing their 4K marketing this week at Wimbledon, which lines up with the launch of their Bravia X9 line up of 4K-capable TV's which are hitting UK retailers this week.
The best time to advertise your 4K goodness in the UK would be, well, now, with Wimbledon, wouldn't it? Sony are putting micro ads on the fingernails and uniform of tennis player Anne Keothavong, with 4K owners being able to see this ultra-insane detail. Sony and the BBC are recording some of the event itself in 4K, with an experience zone at the event being shown off in 4K.
Australian government doesn't go through with their data retention plans, Edward Snowden would be proud
The Australian government have decided to not go through with their data retention plan, which would've seen Internet Service Providers (ISPs) retain customer data for up to two years.
The parliamentary committee investigating the data retention proposal and a few other proposed legislative changes to telecommunications and national security legislation yesterday issued their report. This saw the decision on whether to push forward with plans of a mandatory data retention scheme back to the government.
Law enforcement agencies have longed for this scheme, but have said that most of this metadata (such as information on when and where the call was made, to who, and for how long) is no longer being kept by telcos for billing purposes. I wonder what they mean by "no longer" being kept - was it kept previously?
The past two weeks have seen the Internet filled with Edward Snowden, the NSA, Prism, GCHQ and much more - but what does the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, think about it all? Well, he feels "a little guilty."
Wozniak was a guest on the Piers Morgan show, where he was asked if he feels any responsibility for the technologies he and others in the industry have created, that have given government entities like the NSA the power to snoop on, well, everyone - his answer was:
I actually feel a little guilty about that -- but not totally. We created the computers to free the people up, give them instant communication anywhere in the world. Any thought you had, you could share freely. That ... was going to overcome a lot of the government restrictions.
A petition demanding the US government to pardon Edward Snowden passes 100,000 signatures, forces the White House to respond
There has been a petition demanding that the US government pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, which saw over 100,000 digital 'signatures', forcing the White House to make a formal response. Considering the US government are attempting to charge Snowden with two counts of espionage, it'll be interesting to see what the White House has to say about this.
Snowden is currently in Hong Kong, although there are rumors of him heading to Russia, where he has been accused of "unauthorized communication of national defense information" and "willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person". The petition to pardon the NSA whistleblower was filed under the We Are The People initiative, which lets US citizens start petitions in the nation's interest.
Obviously, the US citizens' privacy is right at the top of the nation's interests - and if a petition passes 100,000 signatures, then it forces the White House to assign a staff member to respond to the matter. The petition was filed on June 9, and is asking for a pardon, which will most likely not happen.
Former Rooster Teeth and Achievement Hunter contributor, David "Knuckles Dawson" Dreger has been found dead at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver. His body was noticed yesterday, according to a post by Dreger's family on the Facebook page that was setup to help find him. David's sister Danielle wrote on the page:
We are thankful that the prayers for discovery made by everyone during this time have been answered. It is with deep sadness that we must let you all know that David's body was discovered on June 20 near Ambleside Park. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers, support and compassion. David was an exceptional, bright, caring and loving young man. We consider ourselves blessed to have had him in our lives, and are comforted knowing that he is now embraced in the arms of our Lord.
Dreger, 28, was reported missing in late May after last being seen on May 26 in his hometown of Vancouver. His bike and helmet were found the day after in Stanley Park, and he left his wallet, computer and phone at home, as well as closing his Twitter and Xbox Live accounts. The cause of his death hasn't been released yet.
Earlier this week, the internet was set abuzz when Kim Dotcom tweeted that all Megaupload files had been deleted by hosting company Leaseweb. Dotcom called the act "a massive data massacre" and took to Twitter to let the world know that petabytes of their data was gone forever.
Like all arguments, there are two sides to every story and Leaseweb has responded with theirs. Leaseweb says that when the raid took place on Dotcom's home in New Zealand, 60 of the servers directly owned by Megaupload were confiscated by the FIOD and transported to the US. This left 630 dedicated servers rented by Megaupload. These were owned by Leaseweb. Leaseweb says that they took the servers offline, and stored them to preserve data without any request to do so.
TechSpot says that another one of Megaupload's host, Carpathia, is losing nearly $9000 per day due to inactive Megaupload servers. While this figure is most likely a loss of revenue and not indicative of any out of pocket losses, this still affects the bottom line. If Leaseweb is experiencing similar loses that means that they have lost an estimated $4.9 million dollars due to the idle Megaupload servers.
Mozilla launches StopWatching.Us - an online petition to force the Congress to reveal the NSA's spying programs
The recent uncovering of PRISM, the NSA's top secret program used to spy on US citizens via social media and the Internet has caused a major uproar in not only the online community, but the entire country. Now, Mozilla, the developers of the Firefox browser, have taken the fight to Congress in the form of an online petition.
Today Mozilla is launching StopWatching.Us - a campaign sponsored by a broad coalition of organizations from across the political and technical spectrum calling on citizens and organizations from around the world to demand a full accounting of the extent to which our online data, communications and interactions are being monitored.
Whether or not you agree with the NSA's actions, you need to head over to https://optin.stopwatching.us and sign the petition. While the spying may or may not be necessary for national security, we as a country deserve to know who is watching, how we are being watched, and why we are being watched.
This morning Kim Dotcom has taken the Twitter to report that the US government and Leaseweb have deleted the entire collection of Megaupload files that were hosted on Leaseweb servers. This equates to millions of personal files being deleted without warning and without cause.
Kim Dotcom says that petabytes of pictures, backups, personal and business files were all deleted back in February without prior warning to him or his lawyers. "This is the largest data massacre in the history of the Internet," Dotcom wrote on Twitter.
Dotcom's lawyers have repeatedly asked Leaseweb not to delete the Megaupload servers while court proceedings were pending in the US as that data was essentially evidence in the massive case against Dotcom. His counsel even went as far as asking the DOJ to release some of Megaupload's frozen assets so that they could buy all the servers containing the Megaupload data, unfortunately they refused and now all of Dotcom's evidence is gone.
John McAffee releases instructional video on how to uninstall McAffee antivirus software, probably NSFW
In today's installment of WTF, John McAffee has just released a video that instructs users on the proper way to uninstall McAffee antivirus software from their PCs. In true form McAffee appears just as we all picture him, a sort of Huge Hefner / Jeff Bridges mashup. The only thing missing from the video is a performing troupe of meerkats dancing in the background.
During the video, McAffee takes several jabs at the company he founded many years ago as he reads several fake emails which rant about how crappy the software has become. McAffee has a "lab tech" known as Bartholomew attempt to walk you through the uninstall process while the host spends some quality time with scantily clad women and controlled substances. The video below is highly NSFW due to language, drugs and scantily clad women.
As you saw, the only possible way to uninstall McAffee Antivirus is to pull out a gun and shoot the PC. Of course we here at TweakTown could never condone such
a horrid act of installing McAffee silliness. Do not shoot your PC, do not smoke bath salts, and do not take John McAffee's advice on anything. Take the video only for what it is worth in comical value, and install a reputable antivirus software such as BitDefender.
Head of the NSA defends spying, says they've foiled 50 terrorist plots - but at the price of US citizens' privacy?
During a testimony before a congressional intelligence committee on Tuesday, the head of the National Security Agency (NSA) and over government officials strongly defended the government's not-so-secret surveillance program, noting that the NSA has "been able to connect the dots and prevent another terrorist attack."
Director of the NSA, General Keith Alexander, told the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that the NSA's gigantic telecommunications surveillance program has helped to stop a "little over 10" plots with a "domestic nexus" and a total of 50 such plots in more than 20 countries over the last couple of years thanks to PRISM. The head of the NSA reiterated that under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, the NSA has authority to access all telephony metadata.
This metadata is pretty much everything in regards to the call, the who, when and where of every call across the United States. John Chris Inglis, NSA's deputy director has said that there is a purge of data every five years - you know, because we can prove that and all.
Samsung will hold a launch event dubbed "Premiere" this Thursday to showcase new Galaxy and ATIV devices, and TweakTown will be there to cover it with hands on video as well as a complete Live Blog.
The event will take place at 7PM (1PM US EST) in London with the event lasting roughly two hours.
We are expecting to see Samsung debut a new Galaxy NX camera as well as a few new ATIV Windows based devices appear. We could also see the upcoming Galaxy S4 with LTE Advance, or even a new Galaxy Tab tablet.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden sat down with The Guardian for an intimate Q&A session, allowing their readers to do a live online question and answer session over the weekend. We find out why he chose his Hong Kong hideout, stating that he chose China because their government could hold off the US diplomatic pressure.
Snowden denied giving China any information about hacking Chinese research facilities, and laughed off accusations as a smear by the US, with US officials claiming that leaks help terrorists every time something like this happens - because, you know, the US government never funded Al Qaeda (look it up). Snowden wrote:
The US Government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal, and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That's not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it.
This morning, Apple has released its first official statement on customer privacy in the wake of the PRISM scandal in Washington. Apple was one of the companies named as a willing participant in the NSA's spying program and was one of the first to deny its participation entirely. The statement released by Apple this morning clarifies how and when the Cupertino giant hands over customer information to the US Government.
To get started, Apple released some vague figures on the number of data requests received from US law officials during a 17-month period that ended on May 31, 2013. The company says that during that time frame it received between 4000 and 5000 request for customer data, most of which involved investigating robberies and "other crimes", aiding in the search for missing children or alzheimer's patients, or suicide prevention measures.
I don't mind Kanye West's work, but he has taken it a step too far this time stating in an interview with the New York Times that he is the successor to the late Steve Jobs, saying:
I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it's like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z.
He was asked if his instinct ever led him astray, for you know, storming on the stage of the MTV Video awards to push Taylor Swift out of the way, where he adds:
It's only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It's only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That's all it is. I'm assuming I have the most Grammys of anyone my age, but I haven't won one against a white person.
West's six solo album, Yeezus is released later today.
This is something conspiracy theorists (like myself) were laughed at about just last week, and for years now, but now we have an NSA whistleblower coming out and feeling compelled to talk about it. Edward Snowden thinks that the US public needs to know about the control all of the data that is being recorded about them on a day-to-day, heck a second-to-second scale.
All data is recorded, Facebook, Google, Apple, SMS, e-mail, everything digital, is being targeted and secured by the NSA. The NSA collect, store, analyze and keep that data to get data on every living person within the United States right now. They use the reason of 'they're targeting suspected terrorists' but it picks up data on everyone at the same time. We live in a post-9/11 world, and this is something the people of the world need to stand up and say "no" to, and this is what Snowden is here to do.
He is fully aware that coming out and stating these things puts a target on his back bigger than anything I personally think has happened before, and I really expect a big 'event' to go down to throw the media and the citizens off this trail. We're talking about some seriously bad things that the US has done, and this guy has proof of that fact. The question is, where do we go from here?
By now it's no secret that Google's Fiber initiative is scaring the pants off of every major ISP in the country. This is confirmed by the brass of several large ISPs speaking out against gigabit Internet speeds in separate interviews. This morning, David L. Cohen, Executive VP of Comcast, has tossed his two cents into the discussion as well.
Cohen, speaking in an editorial he wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer stated that gigabit Internet speeds at the moment are pointless because "most websites cannot deliver content as fast as current networks move, and most US homes have routers that can't support the speed already available to the home."
What Mr. Cohen is saying is that because most households currently own a DOCSIS 2 or DOCSIS 3 cable modem that we would not upgrade to a modem capable of handling gigabit speeds. What he fails to realize is that Americans in general like to upgrade to the latest and greatest technology. This is why companies like Apple and Samsung are the success they are today.
Furthermore, Cohen is neglecting the fact that most US households are no longer single connected device residences. With the incursion of smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, notebooks, and gaming PCs, many households now have more than five devices connected at one time.
Time for a Monday pick-me-up: The Los Angeles offices of game studio Robotoki received a visit from the Los Angeles Police Department last night after someone hit their newly installed panic button. The panic button was to be used in case of an armed threat and was installed because game teams often receive death threats.
Boys will be boys and one of the designers decided to try out the freshly installed button as everyone was leaving work for the day. The only person left was studio founder Robert Bowling. The LAPD saw the statue of Ghost standing with his gun at the ready, so they perceived there was a threat.
They entered into the building. "I was in my office when they arrived and saw them coming up our stairs, guns drawn," Bowling said. "They yelled for me to put my hands up and walk towards them slowly, then took me into custody and out of the studio until they cleared the rest of the rooms and floors."
They finally realized that the statue was just that: a statue. The night ended with a friendly chat and round of video games.