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The British signals intelligence agency GCHQ used its tapping of the internet’s backbone to monitor visitors to a WikiLeaks site, including Americans, according to a document leaked by Edward Snowden and published in The Intercept. The program, codenamed ANTICRISIS GIRL, was not the first in which GCHQ targeted activists online – it also allegedly waged war on Anonymous using criminal-style denial-of-service attacks. Other documents showed how NSA officials contemplated designating WikiLeaks as a “malicious foreign actor”, which would have permitted the surveillance of U.S. citizens connected with the whistleblower group, and also spying on The Pirate Bay.

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In Brief

The European Parliament is finalizing its report on the NSA surveillance program, and the parliament’s Green faction had proposed an amendment that would give leaker Edward Snowden a guarantee of safety from rendition to the U.S. or prosecution by EU member states, should he choose to leave Russia and come to the EU. However, on Wednesday the parliament’s civil liberties committee will reportedly ditch the amendment, following opposition from both the conservative and socialist blocs. Indeed, the report will apparently not include any demands relating specifically to Snowden’s protection, though it will call for generalized whistleblower protection.

In Brief

If you’re jonesing for a phone that can run either Android or Firefox OS without voiding the guarantee, you don’t have to wait much longer. The plucky Spanish manufacturer Geeksphone said on Tuesday that it will start selling its Intel Atom-based Revolution handset through its online store from 20 February at a cost of €239 ($326) excluding tax, though it’s offering the device at a slightly discounted €222 for a limited period of time. We now also know the built-in storage capacity: 4GB (thankfully there’s also a microSD slot). One reminder: branding issues mean Geeksphone has to call Firefox OS “Boot2Gecko”, which is Mozilla’s old codename for the operating system.

In Brief

The Finnish handset maker Jolla has open-sourced the browser that comes with its Sailfish operating system. The Sailfish browser is built on Mozilla’s Gecko engine and embedded in the Qt application framework using the EmbedLite API. Its open-sourcing means the community can now contribute to its improvement. “Our objective with the project is to make this the first step to get official support from Mozilla Corp. to a mobile browser based on Gecko and embedded in Qt,” Jolla co-founder Stefano Mosconi said in a statement.

In Brief

As part of its ongoing quest to beef up its central and eastern European operations, Deutsche Telekom has bought up the 39.23 percent of shares in T-Mobile Czech Republic that it did not already own. The shares, purchased from a private equity–led consortium, cost the carrier group €800 million (USD $1.1 billion). Deutsche Telekom bought GTS Central Europe in November last year, partly for its fixed-line infrastructure in the Czech Republic, and now that plan is coming together. “T-Mobile Czech Republic is on a clear strategic path to enhance its fixed-line capabilities and foster its market position in B2B,” a Monday statement read.

In Brief

Here’s a new paywall perk: Digital subscribers to the U.K.’s Times or Sunday Times can get a free year-long membership to Spotify Premium (normally $9.99 or £9.99 per month), through a special offer starting this Sunday. New and existing subscribers to the Times‘ two annual products — a digital-only subscription or a digital-plus-print subscription — are eligible. “Spotify said [this deal] is the first it has done of this nature with any media owner,” the Guardian notes.

In Brief

KnCMiner, a Swedish company that makes hardcore hardware for the Bitcoin mining crowd, is constructing a data center for that very purpose. As reported by Data Center Knowledge, the 10-megawatt facility is being built in Boden, in a former army hangar nearby Facebook’s Lulea data center — northern Sweden is cold with great renewable energy facilities, and is as such an ideal data center location. According to KnCMiner co-founder Sam Cole, it will go live in the coming months as the first of many planned “mega data centers” for Bitcoin mining, a larger one of which may be situated nearby if talks with local authorities pan out.

In Brief

Russian web giant Yandex may focus on customers in Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, but its research efforts are widespread — speech recognition R&D takes place in Zurich, and on Thursday the company said it’s coming to Berlin for mapping work. Yandex’s mapping partner is Navteq or, as it is known these days, Nokia Here, and Berlin has long been a hub for that team. Yandex said it will hire 30-40 people for its Berlin office during 2014 to work on its global Yandex.Maps service and, while the company still has no intention of pushing into the German market, a spokesman told me it would look into partnership opportunities with local startups.

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