Operation Socialist | The Intercept

When the incoming emails stopped arriving, it seemed innocuous at first. But it would eventually become clear that this was no routine technical problem. Inside a row of gray office buildings in Brussels, a major hacking attack was in progress. And the perpetrators were British government spies.

It was in the summer of 2012 that the anomalies were initially detected by employees at Belgium’s largest telecommunications provider, Belgacom. But it wasn’t until a year later, in June 2013, that the company’s security experts were able to figure out what was going on. The computer systems of Belgacom had been infected with a highly sophisticated malware, and it was disguising itself as legitimate Microsoft software while quietly stealing data. [Read more]

The small and surprisingly dangerous detail the police track about you | TED

A very unsexy-sounding piece of technology could mean that the police know where you go, with whom, and when: the automatic license plate reader. These cameras are innocuously placed all across small-town America to catch known criminals, but as lawyer and TED Fellow Catherine Crump shows, the data they collect in aggregate could have disastrous consequences for everyone the world over. [Watch the video]

In Princeton University talk, NSA watchdog defends agency’s work | NJ

George Ellard, inspector general of the National Security Agency, defended the agency’s work in a talk at Princeton University Tuesday, including the NSA’s controversial eavesdropping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private cellphone.

“If you’re the chancellor of Germany, you don’t have a private cellphone,” Ellard said. “If you’re the president of the United States, you don’t have a private cellphone.” [Read more]

Judge: Give NSA unlimited access to digital data | PC World

The U.S. National Security Agency should have an unlimited ability to collect digital information in the name of protecting the country against terrorism and other threats, an influential federal judge said during a debate on privacy.

“I think privacy is actually overvalued,” Judge Richard Posner, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, said during a conference about privacy and cybercrime in Washington, D.C., Thursday. [Read more]


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