A 'nest' of surveillance cameras at the Gillet...


An open letter from Pakistan to the chief of the NSA | Index On Censorship


Dear Mr Clapper,

We are reaching out to you with important information that may be of crucial value in preserving your organisation’s integrity and purpose. As citizens of Pakistan, we feel there’s an unexplainable bond, a debt if you’d like to call it, that we owe to your agency; after all, we are the second most interesting people in the world in your ever-vigilant eyes. We are therefore writing to raise with you an issue of extreme importance & national security.

The information here is highly critical and can jeopardise our security if leaked; you see, the world does not really recognise whistleblowers as yet. We trust you to keep this to yourself. [Read the full letter]


Official sidesteps questions on NSA and cellphones | USA Today


WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the National Security Agency sidestepped questions Thursday from a senator about whether the NSA has ever used Americans cellphone signals to collect information on their whereabouts that would allow tracking of the movements of individual callers.

Asked twice by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., if NSA had ever collected or made plans to collect such data, NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander answered both times by reading from a letter provided to senators who had asked the same question last summer. He also cited a classified version of the letter that was sent to senators and said, “What I don’t want to do … is put out in an unclassified forum anything that’s classified.” [Read the full article]


Edward Snowden e-mail provider Lavabit faced ‘pen register’ order | Politico


Lavabit—the e-mail provider that shut down last month in a surveillance-related dispute with the federal government—was faced with a “pen register” order that could have been used to obtain information in real-time when National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden logged into his account and might even have been used to seek his password.

A legal filing federal prosecutors made Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit shows that on June 10 a judge issued an order to the company in question that requires a provider to turn over retrospective information on a user or users, such as the IP address logged in from, time of connection, and header information on emails sent or received through the account. [Read the full article]


The FISA Court is Unconstitutional | Tenth Amendment Center


After President Richard Nixon left office in 1974, a bipartisan congressional investigation discovered many of his constitutional excesses. Foremost among them was the use of FBI and CIA agents to spy on Americans in violation of federal law and the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. Nixon argued that the government needed to monitor “subversives” in order to shore up the “national security.” As for breaking the law and violating the Constitution, Nixon defended himself by proclaiming in a now infamous post-presidency interview with David Frost that: “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

That Henry VIII-like statement was too much for Congress to bear in the Carter years, so it enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which prohibited domestic spying unless the feds first obtained search warrants for surveillance from a federal judge sitting on a newly created FISA court. The FISA court, populated by sitting federal judges assigned there by the chief justice, was charged with issuing secret general warrants based upon secret evidence or no evidence and all in violation of the Constitution, which requires the presentation of evidence that constitutes probable cause of crime as the sole linchpin for the issuance of a search warrant. [Read the full article]


It’s Official: NSA Wants to Suck up All Americans’ Phone Records | ACLU


The NSA has officially stopped sugar coating the fact that it wants to spy on every American.

At yesterday’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on FISA legislation, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) asked NSA director, Gen. Keith Alexander, whether his spy agency should be collecting all Americans’ phone records. Gen. Alexander, in a shockingly forthcoming response, admitted that he “believe[s] it is in the nation’s best interest to put all the phone records into a lockbox that we can search when the nation needs it.” He also explained that “there is no upper limit” to the number of Americans’ phone records that the NSA can collect. [Read the full article]


NSA employee spied on nine women without detection, internal file shows | The Guardian


A National Security Agency employee was able to secretly intercept the phone calls of nine foreign women for six years without ever being detected by his managers, the agency’s internal watchdog has revealed.

The unauthorised abuse of the NSA’s surveillance tools only came to light after one of the women, who happened to be a US government employee, told a colleague that she suspected the man – with whom she was having a sexual relationship – was listening to her calls. [Read the full article]


Typewriters log out PCs in anti-espionage operations amidst wire-tapping, snooping era | The Economic Times


LONDON: Spooked by threats of wire-tapping and snooping, Indian diplomatic staff have dusted out their typewriters and have been ordered to hammer out sensitive documents on paper and not on computers, high commissioner Jamini Bhagwati said on Thursday. He said staff had been told to be careful about discussing classified information inside the embassy premises for fear of bugs planted by international security agencies.

Recent revelations made by whistle blower Edward Snowden showed that the US National Security Agency (NSA) planted bugs at the Permanent Mission of India at the United Nations and the embassy in Washington. The NSA supposedly used four different kinds of devices to spy on the Indian diplomats and military officials. [Read the full article]


Are your photos revealing your location when you post them on the Internet? | Android Authority


Did you know that photos taken on smartphones, including Android devices, can include location information about where the photo was taken? It seems that many people don’t realize this and although it can be a useful feature there is also a dangerous side to this seemingly innocent data.

At the end of last year, John McAfee – the founder of McAfee, the well known anti-virus and security company, went on the run from his home in Belize because a neighbor of his had been shot and he feared that he would be wrongly accused. While on the run, reporters from Vice magazine went with McAfee as he fled to Guatemala. In a teaser post for the planned exclusive interview with McAfee, the Vice reporters uploaded a photo showing John together with the editor-in-chief Rocco Castoro. But, they forgot that photos can carry location data. In this instance the photo showed that McAfee was standing by a swimming pool in a house near Lake Izabal. The result was that the fugitive was arrested for illegally entering Guatemala. Eventually McAfee was deported back to the USA. [Read the full article]


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