No surprises there, then
The U.K.’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), a semi-secret court that deals with complaints over the authorities’ surveillance activities, has declared that the…
Apple included language in its first Transparency Report to say that it had not been subject to a Section 215 Patriot Act request. That language is now gone.
A 2008 court case, in which Yahoo first challenged the collection of its user data, has been kept secret. Now details of the case, which helped justify the controversial PRISM program, are about to be public.
British spy agency GCHQ has rejected freedom of information requests from Privacy International regarding documents that describe the Anglophone pact, so now the activists are taking the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.
Facebook nemesis Max Schrems is fed up with what he sees as the ineffectiveness of the Irish data protection regulator, so he’s launched a mega-suit in his home country of Austria. Sore points include PRISM, Graph Search and general non-compliance with EU privacy law.
An Irish judge has asked the Court of Justice of the European Union to say whether it was OK for the country’s data protection watchdog to refuse to investigate the alleged breakdown — as evidenced by the Snowden revelations — of the U.S.-EU “Safe Harbor” principles.
Google, Microsoft and others won a concession from the US Government on Monday in a bitter fight over the tech companies’ right to disclose how many requests they receive under a controversial NSA program.
Americans weren’t swayed much by President Obama’s proposed changes to NSA data gathering and retention policies.
The former NSA hand, who dominated the headlines with his disclosures on data collection starting in June, continued to hold focus with several interviews on Christmas.
Luxembourg’s data protection regulator says Microsoft and Skype’s transfer of Europeans’ data to the U.S. remains legal, despite the Snowden revelations about what happens to that data. It’s a messy situation where neither side is, strictly speaking, wrong.
Google’s latest Transparency Report, which shows government data demands, has a more aggressive tone than previous ones — which is not surprising, since it is the company’s first report since the Edward Snowden surveillance scandal.
The legal fight over tech companies’ right to disclose information about government surveillance got a big boost from Apple this week. Here’s a look at its legal filing.
Tech companies, stung by criticism that they are part of a surveillance state, have responded by publishing “transparency reports.” Apple finally did the same, though the effort feels half-hearted.
The NSA is not only accessing Google and Yahoo records with the companies’ permission, but has an overseas program to break into the fiber optic links connecting the companies’ data centers.
The Irish data protection chief turned down a request to investigate Facebook’s alleged complicity in the NSA’s PRISM scheme, but campaigners Europe v Facebook have won the right to a judicial review of the decision.
A Canadian spy agency is collecting meta-data about its citizens’ phone records and internet activity, according to a new lawsuit, which is the first such case in the country since the PRISM scandal broke in the US this summer.
Make of it what you will, given that Huawei was founded by an ex-Chinese-military engineer and has had lots of mud thrown…
A parliamentary inquiry into the laws governing British intelligence services is to add privacy implications to its remit, take submissions from the public and perhaps even hold some of its sessions in public.
http://www.fastcompany.com/3019847/think-you-can-live-offline-without-being-tracked-heres-what-it-takes When bombarded by emails, messages, updates and notifications, it’s easy to fantasize going “off the grid” and leaving technology behind. In…
More tech companies are publishing “transparency reports” to show how governments get information about users. The reports are an important civil liberties tool — but are also being used as PR gimmicks.
Tech companies want to disclose the number of surveillance requests they receive. The government is opposing the companies in court but everything is on hold because the government shut down most of the Justice Department.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation resigned from the Global Network Initiative, a group of tech firms dedicated to opposing internet censorship. The resignation appears to be primarily a symbolic gesture.
Some shrug off the notion of government data collection as the price we pay for security; others worry about how much we still don’t know about what happens with our data. At least the conversation has begun.
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/10/how-lavabit-edward-snowden-email-service-melted-down.html It’s been two months since secure email service Lavabit promptly shut down, citing ominous threats from the U.S. government. But now…
An activist alliance called Privacy not Prism wants the European Court of Human Rights to bring effective oversight to British spies’ global surveillance activities. Its crowdfunding campaign for covering legal costs hit its target in two days.
In the aftermath of PRISM-gate, and outages at Google, AWS, Microsoft, vendors should just shut up about cloud already. At least if they want to sell stuff.
The FBI and the US government say Google, Microsoft and other tech firms have no free speech right to declare how many data demands they receive under a controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act legal process.
What with the government snatching up customer data from major providers and Nirvanix shutting down, who would want to move their data to the cloud any time soon? Watch for a resurgence of server hugging.
The European Commission’s Viviane Reding proposes single set of data privacy rules for the whole region and we recap Structure:Europe.
The secret court that oversees America’s spy agencies explained (a bit) about why it believes the mass collection of phone records is legal under the Patriot Act and the Constitution.
In response to a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, a secret spy court has ordered the federal government to declassify decisions (issued…
Microsoft and Google are fighting for the right to reveal the number of surveillance requests they receive from the National Security Agency. New court filings that appeared on Friday provide new details.
Google acknowledges new data encryption plan to mitigate PRISM-provoked privacy fears; Aaron Levie sounds off and more in the week in cloud.
New leaks reveal how the government is using a massive secret program to break into personal, business and financial communications long considered secure. Here’s the most important takeaways.
Say hello to Tresorit, a Structure:Europe Launchpad finalist, which says it can lock-down your data and transport it to Windows Azure with no worries about data scooping and snooping.
Strange bedfellows: Microsoft says it and Google will sue the government to speed up release of information related to the NSA’s PRISM program.
Many names have popped up in the long-running scandal, so we thought it would be a good idea to bring them together in one handy resource.
America’s intelligence czar says his office will for the first time publish a transparency report, in part similar to the ones issued by tech companies, that will show how often the spy services ask for data.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/internet/Cyberspying-Government-may-ban-Gmail-for-official-communication/articleshow/22156529.cms Indian government employees will soon be asked (told?) to stop using Gmail (s goog) for official purposes, according the Indian Times which cited…
Facebook released its new report on data requests from governments around the world and the U.S., perhaps unsurprisingly, sends in the most by a wide margin.
With email insecurity fears becoming more prevalent in the wake of programs such as PRISM, Switzerland’s MyKolab is making itself a more attractive alternative to the likes of Gmail.
According to Germany’s Der Spiegel, the Americans have tapped the United Nations’ internal videoconferencing system. Meanwhile, the NSA has admitted a few analysts used its systems to spy on their love interests.
After the revelations of NSA spying on internet data, analysts think the cloud market will take a hit. Here’s how to get the benefits of using the cloud, but protect your data.
The Independent claims reporting restrictions limited The Guardian‘s recent surveillance coverage, but Edward Snowden claims The Independent‘s new Middle East scoop is a government plant.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the NSA’s surveillance program allows it to tap into more data than it has previously admitted — up to 75 percent of all internet traffic in the U.S., the newspaper says.
The legal discussion forum Groklaw is the latest web service to shut down out of concern over the NSA’s surveillance program — and the latest sign of how much we are losing due to the chilling effects of that government behavior.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/nsa-spying-three-pillars-government-trust-have-fallen In the wake of the Washington Post’s revealing look into routine violations in the NSA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is pulling no…
Documents leaked by Edward Snowden hint at the scale of human and system errors in the NSA’s surveillance apparatus, that have lead to many Americans’ phone calls and emails being intercepted.
An earlier ITIF estimate that NSA-gate could cost U.S. cloud companies $35B over three years is far too limited an assessment, says Forrester Research analyst James Staten.
A senior German politician says a U.S.-Germany “no-spying” deal will protect citizens, and the country’s top email providers say they’re instituting a meaningful security boost for customers. Both claims should be taken with a pinch of salt.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/09/usa-security-nsa-leaks-idUSL1N0G92CU20130809 One of the mysteries of the Prism data collection controversy is how Edward Snowden, an IT guy and not an agent…
Cloud providers’ budgets are outpacing those for enterprise data centers as more enterprises adopt the cloud. That means more money coming in for cloud security companies and other ancillary businesses.
There’s no guarantee of online privacy and security, but here’s a list of tools you can use to at least cover the basics. Ultimately, though, they will require a serious revamp if they’re going to see widespread use.
http://www.itif.org/publications/how-much-will-prism-cost-us-cloud-computing-industry We keep hearing that the U.S. National Security Agency’s propensity for data collection will hurt American cloud companies. Now, one researcher…
A journalist who thought the FBI raided her house because they saw her Google searches turned out to be wrong, but the incident highlights the lack of trust and culture of paranoia that NSA surveillance has created.
News of the NSA’s funding of British spies and accusations of the U.S. spying on a journalist on behalf of the New Zealand military underline the complexity and reach of our governments’ intelligence agreements.
VK CEO Pavel Durov has invited leaker-of-the-year Edward Snowden — who finally left a Moscow airport on Thursday — to join the social network’s developer team, with a focus on data protection.
Britain’s The Guardian newspaper has shone more light on the XKeyscore scheme used by the NSA and its partners to search through vast amounts of data and flag up anomalies.
Five years ago, Yahoo lost a challenge to the federal government’s demands to impose surveillance technology. In September, we will find out what happened.
Amazon says it’s now okay for banks in the Netherlands to use Amazon Web Services for pretty much any job.
Half of Americans surveyed are okay with government data gathering but more than half also feel that there is not sufficient supervision of the process.
Security has been one issue inhibiting cloud adoption, and the hubbub about PRISM only seems to have made it a bigger concern. That’s why we’ll talk about cloud security at Structure:Europe in September.
Many of America’s controversial surveillance activities are “legal” because they are approved by a secret court. Critics, including its own judges, have called for reform – but the problem won’t be fixed until the court adopts some basic legal traditions.
http://www.npr.org/2013/07/28/206231873/who-spies-more-the-united-states-or-europe Despite the furor over PRISM, the U.S. National Security Agency’s data collection program, you are far more likely to be spied…
IT pros are a cynical bunch: that the government may be snooping corporate data does not surprise them at all.
If you are a European cloud vendor, you will ride the U.S. NSA data gathering controversy for all its worth. And shame on you if you don’t!
According to a survey by the Cloud Security Alliance, 10 percent of the organization’s non-US members have cancelled a contract with a…
The National Security Agency will have plenty of room to store information at its Utah data center — but not necessarily a yottabyte’s worth. Speculation continued this week with the release of site plans.
The Safe Harbor agreement between the U.S. and Europe, which allows American web firms to process European customers’ personal data, is under serious threat in the wake of Edward Snowden’s NSA surveillance revelations.
NSA/PRISM leakerEdward Snowden has finally been allowed to leave the Moscow airport where he’s been staying for the past month.
Online activists hope to use Congress’ power of the purse to remove funding from domestic surveillance; they are rallying behind an amendment set for a vote on Tuesday.
An unusually broad coalition of tech companies, investors and civil liberties groups published an open letter to the government to change the Patriot Act.
Nowhere (U.S. aside) is PRISM a hotter topic than in Germany. With the issue proving central to upcoming elections, some pretty wild claims are flying around — and the rest of the world should take note.
The British Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee has rebuffed claims that UK intelligence services broke local law by taking PRISM data from the Americans. However, the committee also said it needed to study the law more closely.
U.S. Military Police tipped off local authorities after a German man set up a joke Facebook event, inviting people to stroll around a “top secret” U.S. military facility to observe NSA spies in their natural habitat.
Mega creator Kim Dotcom, who has been a staunch advocate of privacy, announced that he’s looking for fund managers and general partners for a new privacy-focused VC fund.
The secret FISA court agreed to publish redacted versions of secret 2008 legal proceedings in which Yahoo tried to resist the federal government’s new surveillance program.
This quarter we saw more signs of maturity in the cloud computing market, including a new version of the OpenStack standard, more…
Feeling the heat ahead of federal elections, German chancellor Angela Merkel has called for unified data protection rules across Europe and, to a more limited extent, on a global scale. But is that even possible?
In the latest Edward Snowden-linked revelations, The Guardian offers more details on just how much Microsoft helped the U.S. authorities gather user information.
The AP has done an extensive report on the logistics of wiretapping, and how much it costs to track your data varies greatly on where the government is looking.
Has the recent NSA scandal created a greater appetite for fully encrypted communications options? Hemlis, developed by The Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde, will be one test of that.
In the second half of an interview with the Guardian, former CIA contractor Edward Snowden repeats allegations that PRISM provides “direct access” to servers at Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others — claims those companies have repeatedly denied.
It’s amazing what a little — or a lot — of metadata can tell you about a person. I visualized a bunch of my own to show a sample of what’s available to agencies like the NSA and what even a wannabe data analyst can do with it.
Privacy International’s suit attacks the secrecy and unaccountability surrounding the global web of online surveillance, which increasingly seems designed to circumvent nationally agreed-upon laws on personal freedom.
In a new court filing, the Obama Administration says the secret FISA court has no obligation to publish its decisions — not even those that explain why new forms of spying are constitutional.
Privacy was the hot button in the cloud this week following news of more government surveillance, although hot flash storage startups and the potential for more Amazon cloud growth also captured attention.
According to new figures, the Guardian set a one-day traffic record with its Snowden coverage, and has also seen its overall traffic grow to the point where it is likely close to matching the New York Times.
In a series of new developments, the EU digital chief has warned that policy makers might put “security guarantees ahead of open markets”, and the European Parliament has launched a major inquiry into surveillance revelations.
Le Monde says it has exposed a secret scheme, being carried out by the French intelligence service DGSE, that stores metadata for communications inside the country and possibly beyond.
Hans-Peter Friedrich, Germany’s internal security chief, has become one of the first senior EU politicians to explicitly suggest the avoidance of U.S. cloud services in the wake of the PRISM scandal.
Some of the biggest names on the Internet are joining protestors for Restore the Fourth, a protest on Independence Day in response to the PRISM scandal.
A German company called Protonet is marketing its private cloud appliance as a hedge against the likes of the NSA. But can such an approach really make a difference?
The revelations about the activities of American and British spy agencies are so egregious that even the online ad industry is up in arms. As well they should be — it threatens their livelihood.
The fact that it is more difficult than ever to decide who qualifies as a “journalist” may make for a confusing media landscape, and it may trouble some professional journalists and media outlets, but in the long run we are better off.
Microsoft pushes Azure to developers beyond the Windows world; Oracle seeks to partner its way to cloud credibility
New slides from a leaked NSA presentation published by the Washington Post show that the spy agency is able to monitor live conversations in real time using FBI-operated equipment located on company premises.
Caspar Bowden warned Parliament that governmental snooping should make companies think twice before going to cloud.
More gated Amazon Web Services mini-clouds could pop up outside the U.S. going forward.
Although reports continue to emerge about Google setting up systems to co-operate with the NSA’s surveillance and data-collection programs, the company’s chief lawyer repeatedly denied on Wednesday that it has done so.
With more users aware of their privacy, trackless search engine DuckDuckGo sees a huge spike in traffic.
Google has sued to shine more light on the secret court that approves controversial national security letters — the petition also represents part of the ongoing PR strategy of tech companies caught up in a surveillance scandal.
Former CIA staffer Edward Snowden talked about a lot of things during a live Q&A on Monday hosted by the Guardian newspaper — but there were also some important questions that he neglected to answer.
Lawyers have raised a ruckus as the government’s secret surveillance programs come to light. But for years, laws have largely failed to stop the spread of surveillance — is it time to turn to technology instead?
Even the venerable New York Times appears to be getting the message that the news is no longer beholden to certain traditional outlets — it can and will find the easiest route to reach the audience it deserves.
The company framed it as “Apple’s Commitment to Privacy,” but as with its internet peers, the biggest questions remain: how often did Apple comply and whose customer information did they give away?
Whatever the details might be, it seems clear that dozens of technology companies — and perhaps even more — have co-operated with the NSA on its surveillance program. And they could pay a high price for doing so.
Facebook is now disclosing to the public the number of national security-related requests it received from the government for user data. Microsoft has released similar statistics. But Google has declined, saying it prefers a different approach.
A Bloomberg report suggests widespread cooperation between U.S. tech firms and the nation’s intelligence agencies that could help those spies hack into foreign computers.
The Financial Times is quoting three senior EU officials as saying an “anti-FISA” clause was taken out of the EU’s proposed data protection legislation, after senior U.S. figures lobbied against it.
The data center in Luleå, Sweden, is highly energy-efficient as it uses hydroelectric power. It may also prove handy in keeping Facebook on the right side of European data protection legislation.
Facebook, Google and Microsoft want to show users just how much the federal government requests access to data. The actions are attempts to save face on the privacy front following reports of the PRISM program.
We know the NSA is collecting our call records, but there are far bigger fonts of information carriers hold. The mobile network is highly managed, tracking our internet habits from the websites we visit to the apps we use.
After a wave of initial shock at the revelations about NSA surveillance, there seems to be a pervasive feeling of resignation about our data being collected by the government. Have we grown too used to being spied on?
Updated: A narrow majority of Americans surveyed are okay with the government gathering data (or metadata) on our online activities, according to new Pew Research.
In a brief debate on Tuesday, all major groups in the Parliament expressed either concern or outright anger at the PRISM program and the way it treats EU citizens’ data.
The Guardian and blogger/journalist Glenn Greenwald shocked the U.S. and much of the world with their stories about government surveillance, scoops that may have come about in part due to their outsider status in U.S. media circles.
Decision time looms. And as painful as it seems, right now it feels like the only responsible response to the PRISM scandal would be to stop using American web services for any private communications.
If a piece of information has been collected but has never actually been seen by the human eye, is it considered surveillance?
The European Commission knew about PRISM. And, while it may want to firm up data protection rules, it’s up to individual EU governments to decide whether they’re OK with the U.S. spying on their citizens.
The man who leaked top-secret documents from the NSA — about a digital surveillance program called PRISM that collected data from Google, Yahoo, Facebook and others — has come forward to speak about why he did it.
Facebook built a system for the U.S. government that would allow intelligence agents easier access to personal data requested under a federal surveillance law, according to a report, and other companies agreed to work with investigators.
Google has provided a lengthy statement on the reports of government spying on user data through some of the country’s largest tech companies.
The past few days have seen a blizzard of leaks about surveillance activity by the government’s ultra-secret NSA arm, including data collection from phone companies and internet giants. Here is what you need to know about this developing story.
After it emerged that the U.S. National Security Agency is apparently tapping into the Google and Facebook communications of people around the world, EU data protection officials and activists have started asking questions.
The revelation that U.S. spies are able to monitor communications over Google, Facebook and other American web firms’ platforms will have a big impact overseas, and nowhere more so than in Europe.
Here’s how nine Silicon Valley companies have responded to reports that the U.S. government can reach into their servers and extract personal data, almost at will.
When I upgraded from Firefox 3.5.7 to 3.6 the other day, I discovered that a few of the add-ons that weren’t yet compatible were important to me. In fact, they had become such an integral part of my daily workflow that I was significantly slowed down without them. In this post I’m going to share the add-ons that I find it hard to be without.
The advent of the cloud over the past few years has meant that a lot of the tasks that we were used…
Everyone has their favorite tricks to keep focused while working at the computer. Mine can be summarized as “out of sight, out…
If you’re like many web workers, you’re increasingly working with video files. For some, the simple steps required to work with YouTube…
We’ve talked about Site Specific Browsers like Bubbles in the past and while I have found them to be useful in some…
I mentioned in my first impressions of the HP 2710p that the lack of a jog dial like that on the tc1100…
My former boss, David Churbuck had some thoughts and I thought, well time to share them with you… Consumer reluctance on VoIP…