` 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:

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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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SEA: ` Reportedly obtained Documents that reveal how much Money the `FBI ‘ pay `Microsoft ‘ to view client’s Data ‘


#AceSecurityNews – Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) hackers have reportedly obtained documents that reveal how much money the FBI pays Microsoft each time agents try to obtain or view an individual customer’s communication information.

syrian-hackers-reveal-fbi-microsoft.siThe SEA, a group that has made headlines in the past for infiltrating Western media outlets that it perceives to be against Syrian President Bashar Assad, provided a trove of emails and invoices to the Daily Dot http://www.dailydot.com/news/microsoft-compliance-emails-fbi-ditu/, which analyzed the documents before publishing them.

“The documents consist of what appear to be invoices and emails between Microsoft’s Global Criminal compliance team and the FBI’s Digital Intercept Technology Unit (DITU), and purport to show exactly how much money Microsoft charges DITU, in terms of compliance costs, when DITU provides warrants and court orders for customers’ data,” wrote the Daily Dot’s Kevin Collier and Fran Berman.

“In December 2012, for instance, Microsoft emailed DITU a PDF invoice for $145,100, broken down to $100 per request for information, the documents appear to show,” they went on. “In August 2013, Microsoft allegedly emailed a similar invoice, this time for $352, 200 at a rate of $200 per request.

The latest invoice provided, from November 2013, is for $281,000.”

Daily Dot – RT News – News Sources

Related News – Verge – http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/20/5530630/hacked-invoices-show-how-much-microsoft-charges-the-fbi-for-customer-information

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Safe Internet for Children called into Arena by Psychologists and Psychiatrists as Google Develops own Kids Version ‘


#AceSecurityNews - The Safe Internet League, Russia’s largest and most reputable organization fighting dangerous web content, considers it necessary to attract highly skilled psychologists and psychiatrists as the popular Google-owned video hosting and sharing service YouTube is developing a special version for kids, Safe Internet League CEO Denis Davydov was quoted as saying by the organization’s press service on Thursday.

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

“Leading psychologists and psychiatrists should participate in developing requirements for video content hosted on the so-called child-friendly version of YouTube in order to eliminate the risk of ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’,” Davydov said. “Far from all videos that may seem harmless to us are necessarily suitable for children. And specialists’ opinion is essential in this regard.”

Davydov said the Safe Internet League hailed Google’s decision to create a version of its video site aimed specifically at children aged ten and under.

As envisioned by project developers, the site would only show videos deemed safe for this age group, and parents will control access to it. The site would also filter out comments that contain explicit language, or other references to adult content.

“It is very laudable that Google has started demonstrating its willingness to work in Russia, showing respect for the rights of our citizens and taking care of the younger generation of Russians,” Davydov said.

Last September, the Safe Internet League published the results of a full-scale investigation by the League into Google’s activities in Russia. The organization accused Google of “ignoring Russian legal requirements” and “deliberately trying to influence Russian domestic policy in order to promote its services among Russian citizens and officials, in order to undermine digital sovereignty”.

According to reports, YouTube has already approached video producers asking to create suitable content and videos, and it is thought this content would be available exclusively on the site.

The Safe Internet League is a non-commercial organization launched by several major internet providers and a Christian charity.

The declared aim of the group is ridding the Internet of dangerous content through self-regulation in order to prevent government censorship.

Russian Media Sources

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` Photographs of your Friends and Neighbours on `Facebook ‘ could now be Instantly Recognisable ‘


#AceSecurity News – ‘DeepFace’ could provide instantaneous facial recognition via Facebook.

Deep FaceDeepFace: Closing the Gap to Human-Level Performance in Face Verification

Abstract:

In modern face recognition, the conventional pipeline consists of four stages: detect => align => represent => classify. We revisit both the alignment step and the representation step by employing explicit 3D face modeling in order to apply a piecewise affine transformation, and derive a face representation from a nine-layer deep neural network. This deep network involves more than 120 million parameters using several locally connected layers without weight sharing, rather than the standard convolutional layers. Thus we trained it on the largest facial dataset to-date, an identity labeled dataset of four million facial images belonging to more than 4,000 identities, where each identity has an average of over a thousand samples. The learned representations coupling the accurate model-based alignment with the large facial database generalize remarkably well to faces in unconstrained environments, even with a simple classifier. Our method reaches an accuracy of 97.25% on the Labeled Faces in the Wild (LFW) dataset, reducing the error of the current state of the art by more than 25%, closely approaching human-level performance.

Along with owning the largest stockpile of photos in the world, Facebook has announced it now plans to unleash facial recognition technology with a new program that promises to identify the subject of an untagged image with nearly unparalleled accuracy.

Researchers at the social media giant claim that humans who look at two faces can identify if they are the same person with a 97.53 percent accuracy.

They promise that the company’s new “DeepFace” program will be able to do the same with 97.25 percent accuracy.

Facebook users may have already noticed that the site is able to suggest friends to tag when a new picture is uploaded.

It does so by analyzing the distance between an individual’s eyes and nose in both profile pictures and already tagged images.

The new DeepFace program will be much more intensive, using software to correct the angle of a face in an image, then comparing that to a 3D model of an average face. It then simulates what has been called a neural network to find a numerical description of the face. If there are enough similarities, Facebook will know if the faces are in fact the same.

DeepFace was developed by Facebook artificial intelligence (AI) analysts Yaniv Taigman, Ming Yang, and Marc’ Aurelioa Ranzato, along with Lior Wolf, a faculty member at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Their research paper was first published last week in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s Technology Review.

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` Fourteen Men Operating a ` Child Pornography ‘ website `Darknet’s Onion Router ‘ have been arrested and charged as part of a Conspiracy’


#AceSecurityNews – WASHINGTON – Fourteen men operating a child pornography website on the Darknet’s Onion Router, also known as Tor, have been arrested and charged as part of a conspiracy to operate a child exploitation enterprise, following an extensive international investigation by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and USPIS.

Eleven have been federally charged in the Eastern District of Louisiana and three in other districts. All are in federal custody.

The website’s primary administrator, Jonathan Johnson, 27, of Abita Springs, La., has been charged with operating a child exploitation enterprise. He admitted to creating multiple fake female personas on popular social networks to target and sexually exploit children and to coaching other child predators in his inner circle to do the same. Jonathan Johnson has been in federal custody since his arrest June 13, 2013, and faces 20 years to life in prison.

“Never before in the history of this agency have we identified and located this many minor victims in the course of a single child exploitation investigation,” said ICE Deputy Director Daniel Ragsdale.

“Our agency is seeing a growing trend where children are being enticed, tricked and coerced on-line by adults to produce sexually explicit material of themselves. While we will continue to prioritize the arrest of child predators, we cannot arrest our way out of this problem: education is the key to prevention.”

Read More: http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1403/140318washingtondc.htm

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NSA : ` Program ` Mystic ‘ is Capable of Recording ` 100 ‘ Percent of every Phone Call across entire Nation’s’


#AceSecurityNews A secret spy program developed by the National Security Agency and reported publicly for the first time on Tuesday has given the United States the ability to digitally record the contents of each and every phone call occurring across entire nations.

MysticCiting previously unpublished documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and statements from individuals with direct knowledge of the effort, the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani wrote that the US-administered surveillance system is capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls.

The program, “MYSTIC,” was launched back in 2009, according to the Post, but by 2011 it was ready to be rolled-out at full capacity and was subsequently deployed against at least one target nation.

The Post says they are withholding details “that could be used to identify the country where the system is being employed or other countries where its use was envisioned” upon the request of US officials.

Once it was ready to put to the test in 2011, MYSTIC and its “retrospective retrieval” tool known as RETRO were being used to indiscriminately record “every single” conversation occurring across the entire target country, the Post reported.

Those calls — “billions,” according to the Post — are stored for 30 days, and the oldest conversations are purged as new ones are logged. Once the content entered the NSA’s system, however, analysts are able to go back and listen in as much as a month later to find information on a person who might never have been suspected of a crime at the time that their initial conversation was collected unbeknownst to them by the US government.

Read More: WP – http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-surveillance-program-reaches-into-the-past-to-retrieve-replay-phone-calls/2014/03/18/226d2646-ade9-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html

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` Syrian Hackers say they have Compromised US Central Command '


#AceSecurityNews – Syrian hackers say they’ve compromised US Central Command

Published time: March 14, 2014 18:40

 
A group of computer hackers who are loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad say they’ve accessed hundreds of documents after allegedly penetrating the network of the United States Central Command and other systems.

The Syrian Electronic Army hacktivist group said from their Twitter account on Friday that they were engaged in an operation targeting CENTCOM due to US President Barack Obama’sdecision to attack Syria with electronic warfare.”

Soon after the group claimed to have “already successfully penetrated many central repositories,” and tweeted a screenshot of what is purported to show that hackers have indeed somehow wound up inside of a military computer system of some sorts.

The image suggests that someone from the SEA may have in fact gained access to a military directory called “AKO Home” that contains a number of folders with names relating to the US Air Force specifics command units under that branch.

This is part of an ongoing operation and we have already successfully penetrated many central repositories.#SEApic.twitter.com/DSUzuFHmkN

— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) March 14, 2014

In the coming days we will update you with specific details and hundreds of documents that the #SEA has obtained,” the group tweeted.

“AKO,” or “Army Knowledge Online,” is the name of a web-based enterprise information system used by the Pentagon to let military personnel access files from any internet-connected computer, and was called “the world’s largest intranet” in a 2001 Wired article.

“It’s a total aggregation of all the information the Army has, all the documents, manuals and files,” Ryan Samuel, the director of public relations at a company that helped develop the AKO, told Wired’s Louise Knapp for that article.

At the time, Louise said the AKO had room for around 70 terabytes of storage for those files, though that number has almost certainly grown exponentially over the last 13 years.

The AKO website was slow to respond following the hackers’ claim, which could be the result of a surge in visitors prompted by the SEA’s tweets, an attempted denial-of-service attack to momentarily cripple the military’s servers or, also likely, a total coincidence.

Requests for comment made by RT to the Army’s press office were not immediately returned Friday afternoon.

The SEA has engaged in a number of operations in recent months against the websites of western media outlets, and is perhaps best known for claiming to have compromised the Twitter account of the Associated Press last year. Once that account was commandeered, the SEA erroneously reported that an explosion had occurred at the White House.

In January, the SEA gained unauthorized access to the social media accounts affiliated with Skype and posted messages critical of the Microsoft-owned product and the US government’s relationship with Silicon Valley. Last month, the group reportedly accessed the email accounts of Forbes employees and then took control of associated blogs.

The US has not publically admitted to waging any cyberattacks against the Syrian government, although the White House has been linked to waging a digital attack on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, and leaked National Security Agency documents have shown that the US intelligence community has an arsenal of offensive cyberweapons at its disposal.

RT

 

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Welcome Everyone to `Ace News Services ‘ Please Comment or Post to be Approved ‘


#AceNewsServices says good evening from my UK home and to all my friends and readers of my news articles and posts, well just so you can write your news as it happens, and chat on the go.

Ace Friends News

` Follow my news and views and post in the box’

It is not just 140 characters and you can post a link to a video or promote your group, charity, idea or really anything.

Anyone wanting to post a video best way is copy and paste the short URL from the YouTube site and post.

Add your own tags and links and enjoy chatting to fellow bloggers.

I ask for you to observe that we do not use it as a spam area, should this happen it will be closed to everyone and l will email those people ,to be the only users.

Thank you Editor (Ace News Group) 

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` Snowden says in an interview with European Parliament ‘ US spy agency pressures allies to Spy ‘


#AceSecurityNews says that in an interview National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden answered questions before the European Parliament on Friday, and said that the United States spy agency pressures its allies to take steps further enabling widespread and indiscriminate surveillance.

“One of the foremost activities of the NSA’s FAD, or Foreign Affairs Division, is to pressure or incentivize EU member states to change their laws to enable mass surveillance,” Snowden said in a testimony delivered remotely from Russia. “Lawyers from the NSA, as well as the UK’s GCHQ, work very hard to search for loopholes in laws and constitutional protections that they can use to justify indiscriminate, dragnet surveillance operations that were at best unwittingly authorized by lawmakers.”

“These efforts to interpret new powers out of vague laws is an intentional strategy to avoid public opposition and lawmakers’ insistence that legal limits be respected,” Snowden insisted.

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` Edward Snowden will speak out in a `Video Conference’ about `Government Intrusion into Privacy ‘ in a panel discussion being held in Texas ‘


#AceSecurityNews says that the former US security contractor Edward Snowden will participate remotely in a panel discussion next week in Texas about governmental intrusion into privacy, Reuters reported.

Snowden is in Russia and faces arrest if he sets foot on US soil.

He is expected to answer questions via video conference at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin on Monday, according to conference organizers. Snowden is to speak on how the US National Security Agency uses technology to keep tabs on people.

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`Classified Documents leaked last summer by #NSA whistle-blower #Edward-Snowden reveal information about `Call Information'


AceSecurityNews says that classified documents leaked last summer by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the intelligence agency currently compels at least three major telephone providers – Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T – to turn over call information on millions of Americans.

Among that information, known as metadata, is the duration of the call, the time the call was made, who the phone call was to, and where it originated.

Snowden disclosed a trove of secret information about US intelligence activity to the press, but the collection of phone metadata has been perhaps the most controversial, in part because of its sheer breadth.

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) was among those hoping to find more when, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, he asked Alexander how the metadata is collected and stored.

“Chairman, I think there are three options that you put on the table,” Alexander replied.

“You mentioned the government holding it, the ISPs holding it. I think there is yet another option where we look at what data you actually need and only get that data.

“Can we come up with a capability that just gets those that are predicated on a terrorist communication? I think you have those three options that I have put on the table,” he continued. “Those are three of the ones that I think need to be clearly discussed and the merits from both sides, they have pros and cons on the agility that you would have with the program.”

Alexander was referring to possible reforms to the NSA set forth by US intelligence and law enforcement leaders earlier this week.

US President Obama, who has said he is open to reforming the surveillance programs after public scrutiny, tasked the attorney general and other administration officials to propose theories on how the phone metadata collection program could remain in use.

The most radical proposal, according to anonymous sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal, would be to entirely abandon the collection of telephony metadata.

Officials are also considering turning that vast datalogue over to a government agency other than the NSA – either the FBI or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, perhaps.

Alexander’s testimony seemed to indicate that the scenario the administration is taking most seriously is leaving the trove metadata with the phone company, with the NSA only forcing the company to handover information about numbers thought to be involved in a web of terrorism.

#ANS2014 – RT – Reuters – Guardian – AP – AFP – WSJ

`Data Hacker’s steal `Three Hundred and Sixty Million Account Credentials’ now on `Black Market’


#AceSecurityNews says one of the largest single personal data hack’s ever? 360 million stolen account credentials found on-line.

Published time: March 01, 2014 01:31

 
Reuters / Kacper PempelReuters / Kacper Pempel
A cyber security firm has reported a “mind boggling” cache of stolen credentials which has been put up for sale on online black markets.
A total of 360 million accounts were affected in a series of hacks, one of which seems to be the biggest in history.

Alex Holden, chief information security officer of Hold Security LLC, said that the firm had uncovered the data over the past three weeks.

He said that 360 million personal account records were obtained in separate attacks, but one single attack seems to have obtained some 105 million records which could make it the biggest single data breach to date, Reuters reports. “The sheer volume is overwhelming,” said Holden in a statement on Tuesday. 

“These mind boggling figures are not meant to scare you and they are a product of multiple breaches which we are independently investigating. This is a call to action,” he added. 

Hold Security said that as well as 360 million credentials, hackers were also selling 1.25 billion email addresses, which may be of interest to spammers. 

The huge treasure trove of personal details includes user names, which are most often email addresses, and passwords, which in most cases are unencrypted. 

Hold Security uncovered a similar breach in October last year, but the tens of millions of records had encrypted passwords, which made them much more difficult for hackers to use. 

“In October 2013, Hold Security identified the biggest ever public disclosure of 153 million stolen credentials from Adobe Systems Inc. One month later we identified another large breach of 42 million credentials from Cupid Media,”
 Hold Security said in statement.

AFP Photo / Justin SullivanAFP Photo / Justin Sullivan

Holden said he believes that in many cases the latest theft has yet to be publically reported and that the companies that have been attacked are unaware of it. He added that he will notify the companies concerned as soon as his staff has identified them. 

“We have staff working around the clock to identify the victims,”
 he said. 

However, he did say that the email addresses in question are from major providers such as AOL Inc, Google Inc, Yahoo Inc, and Microsoft Corp, as well as “almost all” Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations.

Heather Bearfield, who runs cybersecurity for an accounting firm Marcum LLP, told Reuters that while she had no information about Hold Security’s findings, she believed that it was quite plausible as hackers can do more with stolen credentials than they can with stolen credit cards, as people often use the same login and password for many different accounts. 

“They can get access to your actual bank account. That is huge. That is not necessarily recoverable funds,” she said. 

The latest revelation by Hold Security comes just months after the US retailer Target announced that 110 million of their customers had their data stolen by hackers. Target and the credit and debit card companies concerned said that consumers do not bear much risk as funds are rapidly refunded in fraud losses.

RT  

 

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#GCHQ & #NSA : `Intercepted Yahoo users’ Private Photographs’ and `Webcam Chat’ feature 2008 -2012′


#AceSecurityNews says that British and American surveillance agencies teamed up to develop a system that collected millions of images from the webcams of unsuspecting and innocent internet users, new leaked documents reveal.

This “Optic Nerve” program — administered by the UK’s GCHQ with the assistance of the National Security Agency — routinely intercepted and stored those webcam images in secret starting in 2008, according to documents disclosed by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Guardian on Thursday.

The program indiscriminately collected millions of images from people who used Yahoo’s webcam chat function, the Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman and James Ball reported, “including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications.”

According to the journalists, the GCHQ relied on Optic Nerve to experiment with facial recognition programming to monitor existing targets and search for new persons of interest.

But the GCHQ didn’t stop at targeting solely suspected terrorists, the report continues, and instead collected intelligence by seemingly anyone unfortunate enough to log-in to Yahoo’s webcam chat feature, at least between 2008 and 2012.

#ANS2014 #Edward-Snowden #GCHQ #NSA

#GCHQ : `Don’t just need `Spies’ but Magicians’ that can make things `Appear like Magic’ as they `Disappear’


#AceSecurityNews says `Western Spy Agencies’ build ‘cyber magicians’ to manipulate on-line discourse! 

Published time: February 25, 2014 03:40
Edited time: February 26, 2014 16:35

 
Satellite dishes are seen at GCHQ's outpost at Bude, close to where trans-Atlantic fibre-optic cables come ashore in Cornwall, southwest England (Reuters/Kieran Doherty)Satellite dishes are seen at GCHQ’s outpost at Bude, close to where trans-Atlantic fibre-optic cables come ashore in Cornwall, southwest England (Reuters/Kieran Doherty)
Secret units within the ‘Five Eyes” global spying network engage in covert on-line operations that aim to invade, deceive, and control on-line communities and individuals through the spread of false information and use of ingenious social-science tactics.

Such teams of highly trained professionals have several main objectives, such as “to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet” and “to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate on-line discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable,” The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwaldreported based on intelligence documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The new information comes via a document from the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) of Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), entitled The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations,’ which is top-secret and only for dissemination within the Five Eyes intelligence partnership that includes Britain, the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Image from firstlook.orgImage from firstlook.org

The document outlines what tactics are used to achieve JTRIG’s main objectives. Among those tactics that seek to “discredit a target” include “false flag operations” (posting material online that is falsely attributed to a target), fake victim blog posts (writing as a victim of a target to disseminate false information), and posting “negative information” wherever pertinent online.

Other discrediting tactics used against individuals include setting a honey-trap(using sex to lure targets into compromising situations), changing a target’s photo on a social media site, and emailing or texting “colleagues, neighbours, friends etc.”

To “discredit a company,” GCHQ may “leak confidential information to companies/the press via blog…post negative information on appropriate forums [or] stop deals/ruin business relationships.”

JTRIG’s ultimate purpose, as defined by GCHQ in the document, is to use“online techniques to make something happen in the real world or cyber world.”These online covert actions follow the “4 D’s:” deny, disrupt, degrade, deceive.

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As Greenwald pointed out, the tactics employed by JTRIG are not used for spying on other nations, militaries, or intelligence services, but for “traditional law enforcement” against those merely suspected of crimes. These targets can include members of Anonymous, “hacktivists,” or really any person or entity GCHQ deems worthy of antagonizing.

“[I]t is not difficult to see how dangerous it is to have secret government agencies being able to target any individuals they want – who have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crimes – with these sorts of online, deception-based tactics of reputation destruction and disruption,” Greenwald wrote.

In addition, the targets do not need to have ties to terror activity or pose any national security threat. More likely, targets seem to fall closer to political activists that may have, for instance, used denial of service tactics, popular with Anonymous and hacktivists, which usually do only a limited amount of damage to a target.

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“These surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they have been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats,” Greenwald wrote.

In addition to the personal attacks on targets, JTRIG also involves the use of psychological and social-science tactics to steer on-line activism and discourse. The document details GCHQ’s “Human Science Operations Cell,” which focuses on “online human intelligence” and “strategic influence and disruption”that are used to dissect how targets can be manipulated using “leaders,” “trust,” “obedience,” and “compliance.”

Using tested manipulation tactics, JTRIG attempts to influence discourse and ultimately sow discord through deception.

When reached for comment by The Intercept, GCHQ avoided answering pointed questions on JTRIG while insisting its methods were legal.

“It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters. Furthermore, all of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorized, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. All our operational processes rigorously support this position,” GCHQ stated.

Image from firstlook.orgImage from firstlook.orgRT 

 

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