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Snowden, declassified documents reveal more of NSA's activities

08/13, 2:50pm

Two-day Syrian Internet blackout blamed on failed NSA hack

The National Security Agency (NSA) was behind the two-day Internet blackout of Syria in 2012, claims whistleblower Edward Snowden. The accusation, alongside claims that the NSA is working on an automated malware killer, from Snowden comes at the same time as a separate report appearing to show the NSA collected far more information than was legally allowed.

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FISA Court judges ruling on surveillance reportedly own Verizon stock

07/28, 2:35pm

Report claims three judges in FISA Court bought Verizon stock in the last year

Judges sitting on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) may not be entirely impartial, according to a report. A number of judges on FISA Court allegedly own stock in Verizon, one of the companies subject to NSA bulk surveillance orders issued by the court, with the report suggesting this could be considered as unethical behavior by judges in an important role.

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UK government plans reinstatement of metadata collection programs

07/07, 11:54am

Collection of call, text, Internet data to continue under plans by UK ministers

The government of the United Kingdom seeks to force telecommunication companies to log records of calls, texts, and Internet usage for a 12-month period, according to a report. Ministers are said to be attempting to counteract the effects of an European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in April, by introducing surveillance laws reinstating powers struck down by the court's decision.

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US government issues first transparency report for FISA, NSL requests

06/27, 4:47pm

Director of National Intelligence report reveals number of surveillance requests in 2013

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) has released a report, revealing a number of insights into the activities of the National Security Agency (NSA). The report, posted on Tumblr, comes as part of a DNI directive from August 2013, itself prompted by President Obama in June of the same year, with the report listing how many information requests and surveillance-related activities have been performed by the US government in the entirety of last year.

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US Attorney General promises stronger data privacy rights to Europeans

06/27, 12:19pm

Proposal would extend US Privacy Act rights to EU citizens

European citizens could receive some of the same rights to privacy as Americans in the future, if new proposals are adopted. US Attorney General Eric Holder advised to European leaders in Athens, Greece on Wednesday that the Obama administration is working on legislation that would provide EU residents similar protections under the US Privacy Act as US citizens already have.

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Canon picks up Milestone Systems for push into video surveillance

06/15, 3:17pm

Milestone to remain standalone company, will utilize Canon's business channels

Digital camera maker Canon announced Friday that it is acquiring open platform video surveillance software company Milestone Systems. Canon Europe picked up the Denmark-based startup to diversify its offerings, specifically carving out a niche in the surveillance market. The company said that buying Milestone will "significantly enhance Canon's software capabilities" in the sector.

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Vodafone confirms some governments wiretap customers without warrants

06/06, 7:58am

Law enforcement disclosure report claims phone tapping widely used on various Vodafone networks

The world's second-largest carrier has revealed its service is being monitored by government agencies. Following the lead of other technology companies in publishing a transparency report, Vodafone claims phone tapping is being widely used by agencies in a number of the 29 countries it operates in, and in some cases, authorities are able to access customer data without even requiring a warrant.

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Chinese state media demands US tech company punishment for NSA actions

06/04, 9:37am

Tech companies declared 'pawns' of US government surveillance program

Chinese state media is calling for the country's government to penalize US technology companies for their alleged roles in the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance row. The People's Daily and China Daily accuse companies including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple of helping the US government to monitor and threaten the security of users in China, asking for Beijing to "punish severely the pawns."

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Web giants launch 'Reset the Net' anti-surveillance campaign

06/03, 9:47am

BoingBoing, Imgur, Reddit team with Fight for the Future for effort

Web luminaries, tired of constant US National Security Agency (NSA) monitoring, are starting a counter-surveillance initiative. The "Reset the Net" campaign, spearheaded by BoingBoing, Imgur, and Reddit will launch on Thursday, recommending users adopt encryption for day-to-day computing, and committing to improving user privacy by implementing HTTPS, preventing all but the most dedicated surveillance by external sources.

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House Judiciary Committee approves amended version of USA Freedom Act

05/07, 7:50pm

Unanimous vote sends bill to House floor over NSA record collection, surveillance practices

The USA Freedom Act will make its way to the House of Representatives for vote after the House Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to approve the amended version, 32-0. If passed in the House, the act will require the NSA to acquire approval on a case-by-case basis via the FBI. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court's approval would need to be given before any business or telephone records could be collected on a US resident.

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European Court of Justice rules data retention directive invalid

04/08, 12:52pm

European directive forcing storage of metadata infringes right of privacy

A directive requiring telecommunications companies in European Union countries to store metadata about users of its services for up to two years has been declared invalid by the European Court of Justice. The Data Retention Directive was found by the court to interfere with the "fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data."

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US government developing data-farming tool for 'inside threat'

03/10, 2:59pm

Government employees will be subject to near-constant surveillance

US intelligence and military commands are in the process of evaluating a widespread government employee surveillance system that would accumulate databases in order to evaluate the behavior of security clearance holders. The system would be tailored to identify present and future corrupt officials, data leakers, and other "rogue agents", and pulls from aspects of a US military model that has been in the works for more than 10 years. The new system will collate data from many databases, public and private, to form a profile of a targeted individual, and evaluate them for threats to the US government from within.

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Report: GCHQ collected photographs of Yahoo webcam chat users

02/27, 12:41pm

Automated facial recognition performed on webcam stills by UK security agency

The British security intelligence agency GCHQ secured millions of photographs from webcams used with Yahoo's chat services, a report alleges. The agency is claimed to have captured and stored images from more than 1.8 million users in one six month period in 2008 alone, with the surveillance activities said to have continued from 2008 to 2010, though it is possible the program continued for years afterward.

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Secret surveillance court accepts two of Obama's NSA metadata reforms

02/07, 1:25pm

Agrees to measures requiring court approval for NSA metadata searches

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has given its approval to changes President Barack Obama has requested as part of a surveillance reforms speech last month. Two measures in the reforms have been accepted by the court, which will affect the way the National Security Agency (NSA) searches its phone records database in the future.

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Latest Snowden leaks claim NSA data collection from 'leaky' apps

01/27, 3:21pm

NSA,GCHQ allegedly claimed to collect information on individuals from mobile advertising

Intelligence agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom are allegedly taking advantage of smartphone apps to collect a wealth of information about individuals, in new spying allegations. The National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are able to use the "leaky" nature of popular mobile phone apps to extract information about an individual, according to new leaked documents.

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Federal watchdog calls for end of NSA call log collection programs

01/23, 2:14pm

Collection programs such as Prism is illegal according to review board

An independent federal watchdog has decided that the National Security Agency's (NSA) phone call logging and collection activity is illegal. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board advises that the call log collection provided "minimal" benefits to current counter-terrorism operations and should be stopped, in a 238-page report set to be released today.

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President Obama announces reforms to data collection methods of NSA

01/17, 12:45pm

Collected data to be handed to third party, judicial findings required for access

The United States government will reform the way it uses surveillance data, President Barack Obama has announced. Addressing concerns over the National Security Agency (NSA) and the various programs employed to monitor potential threats, Obama outlined a number of changes in how the data will be accessed by security agencies as he attempts to ease the concerns of US citizens.

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Claim: NSA intercepts computer orders, adds malware, hardware bugs

12/30, 5:46am

German mag says NSA diverts retail orders to secretly add tracking software, devices

The National Security Agency (NSA) has the ability to bug computers and peripherals being shipped to customers from retail, says a new report allegedly laying out more of the agency's surveillance activities. Some orders for electronics can apparently get redirected to the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group, run by the NSA, which can secretly add hardware devices and malware to the unit before resealing and forwarding it on to the customer.

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RSA hits out at 'secret NSA contract' reports, claims innocence

12/23, 11:24am

RSA blog states no payment from NSA for number generator backdoor

RSA Security has struck out against claims that the company was paid by the National Security Agency (NSA) to sell flawed encryption software that was vulnerable to surveillance. A blog post states that it has never entered into a "secret contract" with the NSA, and that any collaboration between it and the agency has been openly publicized.

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Report: NSA paid company $10M to sell crackable encryption software

12/20, 6:26pm

Agency pushes vulnerable encryption standard

The National Security Agency has been accused of paying computer-security company RSA $10 million to sell encryption software vulnerable to surveillance, unnamed sources have told Reuters. The agency's role in promoting a crackable encryption standard was exposed earlier this year in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, however the latest report is the first to detail a formal contract and monetary compensation for compliance.

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Tech companies use meeting with Obama to urge NSA reform

12/18, 2:01am

Meeting originally to have discussed both NSA and healthcare reform

Contrary to many media reports, the gathering of tech executives called to a meeting with President Obama were invited to weigh in on the US' digital surveillance policies and programs, and the topic dominated the two-hour meeting while still touching on other topics, such as the government's Healthcare.gov website and general Internet topics. The tech CEOs and representatives urged the government to adopt stricter rules over various NSA-related programs.

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Leaked slides show NSA tracking individuals using Google ad cookies

12/11, 1:59pm

Surfing habits, location tracking claimed performed by security agencies

The National Security Agency (NSA) may have been using cookies from web advertisements in order to track individuals, according to a report. A PREF cookie, a unique identifier typically used in Google's advertising system, has apparently been used by the NSA alongside location data, in order to locate individuals of interest to the agency.

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NYT: CIA pays AT&T $10M per year for international call data

11/07, 1:18pm

Voluntary contract for call data claimed between CIA, AT&T

The CIA has allegedly paid out more than $10 million per year to AT&T for access to data relating to international calls, according to a report. The transfer of metadata between the carrier and the agency is said by the New York Times to be a "voluntary contract," one that is performed freely rather than requiring court orders and subpoenas, unlike that of notorious surveillance program PRISM.

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UK government allegedly bans iPads from meetings over spying fears

11/04, 6:56am

Spying scandal forces UK government to take caution with mobile devices

The British government is combating the overreaching electronic surveillance by intelligence agencies by banning tablets from closed door meetings, according to reports. A number of iPads used during a presentation to the Cabinet were allegedly seized shortly after it had concluded, for fear that they may be used to listen in on private and secret governmental conversations.

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NSA surveillance may have dampened AT&T plans to expand into Europe

10/31, 1:29pm

Possible acquisition of Vodafone a politically difficult feat

AT&T's plan to acquire a carrier and operate in Europe may have to be put on hold for a long time, thanks to the National Security Agency (NSA). The revelations of national and international surveillance by the agency is now forcing European officials to scrutinize any attempt by AT&T or any other carrier to purchase a mobile phone network on the continent.

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Technology companies demand greater transparency from UK government

10/18, 2:04pm

Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter memo over spying concerns

A group of technology companies has asked members of the UK government that there needs to be a debate about Internet surveillance. Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and Twitter have jointly written a memo to Members of Parliament (MPs) calling for more transparency in requests for information by government-controlled organizations, such as GCHQ.

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Feds promise response to Google, Microsoft challenges by Sept 30

09/13, 12:16pm

Companies claim violation of First Amendment

The federal government has promised to issue a response to legal challenges from Google and Microsoft by September 30, following multiple delays and a renewed push by the companies. The ongoing dispute centers around Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) rules that prohibit the companies from disclosing how many national-security data requests they have been asked to fulfill.

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Google petitions FISC for greater transparency [U]

09/09, 11:58am

Search giant criticizes secretive policies

(Updated with details on Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft) Google has submitted an amended petition with the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, again calling for greater transparency over data requests. The company argues that it has suffered a damaged reputation due to FISA secrecy rules, which prohibit the company from disclosing even broad statistics regarding the number of FISA requests that it has responded to.

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Yahoo issues first transparency report, blasts US government

09/06, 1:58pm

Company highlights its FISA challenge

Yahoo has published its first global transparency report, outlining raw statistics surrounding government requests for user data in the first half of the year. In an accompanying blog post, Yahoo general counsel Ron Bell criticized the US government and highlighted the company's two-year legal challenge against the 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

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D-Link debuts DCS-5010L Wi-Fi indoor surveillance camera

08/13, 11:57pm

New model latest in D-Link line of monitoring equipment

D-Link today announced its newest mydlink-enabled DCS-5010L Pan & Tilt Day/Night Camera, a comprehensive surveillance solution for home and small business owners. The newest Network Camera delivers advanced video monitoring features, such as a wide viewing angle, motion detection alerting, night vision, easy networking configuration, and remote pan & tilt functionality.

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Cook, other tech execs meet with Obama over government surveillance

08/09, 2:10am

Representatives from tech firms and civil liberties groups come together

One of the "fathers of the Internet," Vint Cerf -- along with a cadre of representatives from tech companies, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and AT&T chief Randall Stephenson -- met with President Obama on Thursday in a closed-door meeting about government surveillance. This follows a similar meeting earlier in the week that included tech-industry lobbyists and civil liberties groups, including the ACLU and Electronic Privacy Information Center. The meetings are part of an effort by the administration to promote discussion and information about government surveillance programs.

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Survey: PRISM driving business away from US-based cloud companies

07/26, 4:17pm

Overseas companies react to NSA program

The National Security Agency's PRISM surveillance program is reportedly driving business away from cloud service providers based in the US, according to a survey published by Cloud Security Alliance. The industry organization found that more than half of non-US respondents claimed to be less likely to use US-based cloud providers due to the surveillance revelations, while 10 percent claimed to have already canceled an existing project plan to use US-based cloud providers.

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Report claims NSA has ability to monitor text, voice chat in real-time

07/01, 11:07am

Slides showing data collection workflow accompanied by embassy spying claims

The NSA has the ability to receive updates for a person's online activities as part of real-time surveillance through PRISM, according to newly-released information. Four new slides from a presentation state that the NSA could get "live notifications when a target logs on or sends an e-mail" depending on the source, and could also monitor "text, or voice chat as it happens."

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D-Link adds to surveillance range with new Cloud Cameras

01/07, 5:01am

Integrated Wi-Fi repeaters extend range of camera coverage

D-Link has updated its Cloud Camera range with two new wireless network imaging devices. The Cloud Camera 1050 and Cloud Camera 1150 add a number of new features to the wireless surveillance system, including a three-step Wi-Fi Protected Setup scheme, and audio-detection with image alerts based on sounds heard by the cameras.

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FBI forming specialized unit to cover electronic surveilance

05/23, 2:15pm

DCAC in Quantico will allow FBI to increase Internet monitoring

The FBI is reportedly forming a unit to develop new technologies for electronic surveillance, enabling the agency to expand monitoring capabilities for VoIP, wireless signals, and the Internet. According to Cnet, the Domestic Communications Assistance Center, located in Quantico, VA, will serve to intercept Skype conversations and analyze data received from a social network or carrier.

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'Incidental' domestic spying allowed for Air Force drones

05/09, 10:00pm

USAF can keep drone footage for 90 days

Domestic surveillance is typically the purview of the FBI, and proscribed for the Air Force, the rest of the US military, and the CIA; but a new policy document out from the Secretary of the Air Force opens something of a loophole. According to the policy statement, the Air Force can retain domestic surveillance footage inadvertently captured by spy drones for up to 90 days while it determines whether or not the footage contains information upon which the Air Force is authorized to act.

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FBI asks Internet companies to equip sites for surveillance

05/04, 5:00pm

Bureau seeking support for mandatory backdoors

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly meeting with Internet companies to promote upcoming legislation that will require surveillance backdoors for web-based services such as social networks, e-mail, messaging and VoIP. The agency has yet to formally announce the push, however unnamed sources have told Cnet that senior FBI officials are quietly meeting with US senators, Obama administration officials and industry executives in an attempt to muster support.

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Senator pushes to require warrants for GPS surveillance

10/25, 11:25pm

Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is currently pushing to enact legislation that would require government agencies to obtain warrants before obtaining location tracking data. The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act is said to clarify laws surrounding digital location information such as GPS data from cellphones.

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FBI to expand surveillance of web-based communication

02/17, 3:15pm

Bureau to monitor e-mail, social networks

The FBI is reportedly set to announce significant expansions to its surveillance efforts aimed at web-based communication. The bureau is expected to voice concerns over the inability to track certain types of correspondence, such as e-mail and social networking, that do not go through the standard wiretap channels of cellphones and landlines.

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Spector Pro for Mac 2009 adds password capture

10/31, 12:40pm

Spector Pro for Mac ships

SpectorSoft has announced Spector Pro for Mac 2009, its surveillance and monitoring application for the Mac. Intel support and password capture have been added in the most recent update. The software takes hundreds of snapshot hour-to-hour, creating a video-like playback of what is taking place during a user's session. It also records each website visited, keystrokes, chats instant messages and e-mail.

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AVerMedia launches instant network video recorder

06/26, 4:25pm

AVerMedia's NVR with Wi-Fi

AVerMedia today announced the launch of its EB1704HB WiFi-4 NVR instant network video recorder, meant for use in homes and small businesses. The package includes the Network Video Recorder main unit, a wireless router and four wireless IP cameras that are ready to set-up, with no configuration needed. Because there are no wires, apart from the power cords, AverMedia claims a 10-minute set up time. The system features motion-detecting sensors that trigger recording to make efficient use of hard drive space.

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