` Anti-Secrecy Group WikiLeaks Plans to Publish Name of Country Targeted by NSA ‘


#AceSecurityNews – UNITED STATES – May 21  – Despite warnings that doing so “could lead to increased violence” and potentially deaths, anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks says it plans to publish the name of a country targeted by a massive United States surveillance operation.

Wikileaks and Intercept

On Monday this week, journalists at The Intercept published a report based off of leaked US National Security Agency documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden which suggested that the NSA has collected in bulk the contents of all phone conversations made or received in two countries abroad. 

Only one of those nations, however — the Bahamas — was named by The Intercept. The other, journalists Ryan Devereaux, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras wrote this week, was withheld as a result of “credible concerns that doing so could lead to increased violence.”

WikiLeaks has since accused The Intercept and its parent company First Look Media of censorship and says they will publish the identity of the country if the name remains redacted in the original article. The Intercept’s Greenwald fired back over Twitter, though, and said his outlet chose to publish more details than the Washington Post, where journalists previously reported on a related call collection program but chose to redact more thoroughly. 

“We condemn Firstlook for following the Washington Post into censoring the mass interception of an entire nation,” WikiLeaks tweeted on Monday.

“It is not the place of Firstlook or the Washington Post to deny the rights of an entire people to know they are being mass recorded,” WikiLeaks added. “It is not the place of Firstlook or WaPo to decide how people will [choose] to act against mass breaches of their rights by the United States.”

When Greenwald defended his decision to publish the names of four countries where telephony metadata is collected by the NSA but withhold a fifth where content is recorded as well, WikiLeaks said it could be interpreted as meaning that the unknown country doesn’t deserve to know they’re being surveilled, but Greenwald said

The Intercept was “very convinced” it could lead to deaths.

Later, WikiLeaks equated this as an act of racism.

But as the conversation escalated, the WikiLeaks Twitter announced it would disclose the nation’s identify if The Intercept did not, despite requests from the US government to leave that information redact over fears of what the response could be. 

When has true published information harmed innocents?” WikiLeaks asked.“To repeat this false Pentagon talking point is to hurt all publishers.” 

 

“We will reveal the name of the censored country whose population is being mass recorded in 72 hours,” WikiLeaks wrote at 6:35 p.m. EST Tuesday evening.

If the organization intends to uphold that promise, that the identity of the country could be revealed before the weekend. 

Read More at: RT

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` Google Must Comply with European Laws on Privacy by Amending Search Results ‘


#AceSecurityNews – EU COURT Of JUSTICE – May 13 – Google must comply with the European laws on privacy and amend some search results, a top EU court ruled on Tuesday, May 13.

English: Google Logo officially released on Ma...

English: Google Logo officially released on May 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The European Union Court of Justice said that ordinary people can ask Google to remove some sensitive, irrelevant or outdated information from Internet search results.

Earlier, the search engine stated that it does not control search results and bears no responsibility for personal data that is “in open access”. The responsibility lies with the owner of the website that provides the information, and Google merely presents the user with a link.

The case was brought by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his home that could be found on Google infringed upon his privacy.

Around 180 similar complaints have been filed in Spain.

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` US House of Representatives Approves Legislation to Prevent Bulk Collection of Data ‘


#AceSecurityNews – UNITED STATES – WASHINGTON – NSA – May 08 –  A US House of Representatives committee approved legislation on Wednesday that would limit the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of domestic telephone metadata. By a vote of 32 to 0, the House Judiciary Committee advanced the USA Freedom Act, which would end the NSA’s wholesale gathering and storage of American phone data, leaving telecommunications companies responsible for retaining the records.

The bill would still allow the NSA to collect a person’s phone records, and those of people two “hops” or contacts away, if a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, which has been very generous to NSA spying requests in recent years, signs off on the request based on reasonable suspicion of so-called terrorism involvement.

A reform bill deemed as the toughest clampdown yet on the NSA’s collection of phone metadata is expected to move through a key US House committee this week, setting up a showdown between the bill and less stringent legislation supported by House leaders.

House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) will reportedly act on the USA Freedom Act on Wednesday after the bill sat dormant since its introduction in October by former judiciary committee chair and US Patriot Act author Jim Sensenbrenner (R-OH).

The bill is the favored legislative vehicle for privacy advocates that want to see reform of the NSA’s bulk collection of domestic phone call data. Congressional aides believe the bill will pass through the committee with bipartisan support, the Guardian reported. Privacy advocates believe the bill has real potential to pass in a general House vote should it get the chance.

The House Judiciary Committee’s USA Freedom Act was left for dead by House Republican leadership after a competing NSA reform bill was offered in March by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers. The intel committee’s proposal would allow the NSA to continue gathering domestic call data without a prior judicial order.

Hours after the Judiciary Committee announced it would markup its NSA bill on Wednesday, the Intelligence Committee said it would do the same with its own reform bill, the FISA Transparency and Modernization Act, on Thursday. FISA, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, dictates US surveillance of “foreign intelligence information” that can include American citizens or permanent residents suspected of terrorism.

Goodlatte’s support for the USA Freedom Act was reportedly in doubt before House Republican leaders decided to bypass his committee effort to reform the NSA in favor of the Intelligence Committee’s more lukewarm legislation.

The Intelligence Committee’s Rogers has criticized the USA Freedom Act for going too far in curbing bulk collection capabilities that, he says, are vital for national security reasons.

Sensenbrenner’s USA Freedom Act was initially more strict in limiting NSA collection abilities, positing that it would “end bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, in light of the massive intrusion on Americans’ privacy and the lack of evidence of its effectiveness.”

Ace Related News:

1. FOIA – http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr3361ih/pdf/BILLS-113hr3361ih.pdf

2. FISA – http://judiciary.house.gov/_cache/files/d4c6f7fd-4768-4b30-813d-47109cac271a/fisa-anos-001-xml.pdf

RT – March 27

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NSA: ` Complex Analysis of Electronic Surveillance used to Target Lethal Drone Attacks ‘


#AceSecurityNews – Guest Post – May 06 – The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people.

According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA, the agency often identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the mobile phone a person is believed to be using.

The drone operator, who agreed to discuss the top-secret programs on the condition of anonymity, was a member of JSOC’s High Value Targeting task force, which is charged with identifying, capturing or killing terrorist suspects in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

His account is bolstered by top-secret NSA documents previously provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. It is also supported by a former drone sensor operator with the U.S. Air Force, Brandon Bryant, who has become an outspoken critic of the lethal operations in which he was directly involved in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.

In one tactic, the NSA “geolocates” the SIM card or handset of a suspected terrorist’s mobile phone, enabling the CIA and U.S. military to conduct night raids and drone strikes to kill or capture the individual in possession of the device.

The former JSOC drone operator is adamant that the technology has been responsible for taking out terrorists and networks of people facilitating improvised explosive device attacks against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. But he also states that innocent people have “absolutely” been killed as a result of the NSA’s increasing reliance on the surveillance tactic.

One problem, he explains, is that targets are increasingly aware of the NSA’s reliance on geolocating, and have moved to thwart the tactic. Some have as many as 16 different SIM cards associated with their identity within the High Value Target system. Others, unaware that their mobile phone is being targeted, lend their phone, with the SIM card in it, to friends, children, spouses and family members.

Some top Taliban leaders, knowing of the NSA’s targeting method, have purposely and randomly distributed SIM cards among their units in order to elude their trackers. “They would do things like go to meetings, take all their SIM cards out, put them in a bag, mix them up, and everybody gets a different SIM card when they leave,” the former drone operator says. “That’s how they confuse us.”

Courtesy of By  and  10 Feb 2014, 12:03 AM EDT

Ace Related News:

  1. First Look

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` Pentagon Law Enforcement Agency amasses ` Millions of Criminal Records ‘Called into Question’


#AceSecurityNews – A rarely reported but highly extensive database managed by a Pentagon law enforcement agency that contains millions of details including criminal records and minor infractions alike is being called into question.

PentagonAlthough the Law Enforcement Information Exchange, or LInX, contains police records pertaining to run-of-the-mill 911 calls and even mere traffic citations, millions of these records concerning harmless civilian activity are stored in a system run by the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the primary law enforcement agency of the US Navy that’s head-quartered at the Quantico, Virginia military base.

On Friday this week, an article published in the Washington Examiner by senior watchdog reporter Mark Flatten offered a detailed look at the database, and dared to ask questions about the sparsely discussed system amid growing concerns about government-sanctioned surveillance.

“Those fears are heightened by recent disclosures of the National Security Agency spying on Americans, and the CIA allegedly spying on Congress,”Flatten wrote.

Unlike the NSA’s conduct or the Central Intelligence Agency’s activities, though, the LInX System is a US military operation. The NCIS got the initiative off the ground in 2003, and says on their website that it is “designed to enhance information sharing between local, state, and federal law enforcement in areas of strategic importance to the Department of the Navy.”

“LInX provides participating law enforcement partner agencies with secure access to regional crime and incident data and the tools needed to process it, enabling investigators to search across jurisdictional boundaries to help solve crimes and resolve suspicious events,” the website reads.

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NSA take down of Terrorists and Criminals Adopts `Hacking System Administrators ‘ Private Network’s ‘


#AceSecurityNews – In its quest to take down suspected terrorists and criminals abroad, the United States National Security Agency has adopted the practice of hacking the system administrators that oversee private computer networks, new documents reveal.

InterceptThe Intercept has published a handful of leaked screenshots taken from an internal NSA message board where one spy agency specialist spoke extensively about compromising not the computers of specific targets, but rather the machines of the system administrators who control entire networks.

Journalist Ryan Gallagher reported that Edward Snowden, a former sys admin for NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, provided The Intercept with the internal documents, including one from 2012 that’s bluntly titled “I hunt sys admins.”

According to the posts — some labeled “top secret” — NSA staffers should not shy away from hacking sys admins: a successful offensive mission waged against an IT professional with extensive access to a privileged network could provide the NSA with unfettered capabilities, the analyst acknowledged.

“Who better to target than the person that already has the ‘keys to the kingdom’?” one of the posts reads.

Reuters

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`Google Encrypts Gmail in Effort to Stop the Prying Eyes of the NSA – Maybe a Little To Late? ‘


#AceSecurityNews – Google is doing its best to put a lid on the NSA’s prying eyes by using enhanced encryption technology to make its flagship email service airtight.

Google Encypts Gmail“Your email is important to you, and making sure it stays safe and always available is important to us,” Gmail engineering security chief, Nicolas Lidzborski, said in a blog post.

“Starting today, Gmail will always use an encrypted HTTPS connection when you check or send email.

“Today’s change means that no one can listen in on your messages as they go back and forth between you and Gmail’s servers — no matter if you’re using public WiFi or logging in from your computer, phone or tablet.”

The internet giant’s announcement is the latest attempt to bolster the company’s widely used email service and follows a similar step in 2010, when the company made HTTPS the default connection option.

At the time, however, users had the option to turn this protection feature off.

Starting from Friday, Gmail is HTTPS-only.

The move is a response to a disclosure made by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, Edward Snowden, that the agency had been secretly tapping into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centres around the world.

 

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