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  1. Pakistan’s Upper House this week began debating a new bill seeking to establish a National Cyber Security Council, an agency the nation feels is needed in the wake of Edward Snowden's myriad revelations about NSA surveillance. The Cyber Security Council Bill 2014 was presented by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Monday with the aim of creating a body to draft policy, guidelines and strategy on cyber security issues according to international best practices, in line with Pakistan Today. As well as working to counter emerging online threats, it will also try to facilitate better communication
  2. DAVID CAMERON has defended the security services amid claims that Britain may have helped America to spy on European leaders. The PM accused those leaking information about the intelligence agencies of putting lives at risk. He said: “The first priority of a prime minister is to help try and keep your country safe. That means not having some lah-di-dah, airy-fairy view about what this all means – it’s understanding security services do an important job.” His comments came as France and Germany pressed America to come clean about the extent of its eaves-dropping on world leaders. I
  3. Oliver Stone, John Cusack, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Wil Wheaton are among showbiz figures who are stepping into the debate over the National Security Agency surveillance programs, appearing in a public service announcement that calls for an end to the monitoring. “Everybody is at risk for getting caught up in the NSA dragnet,” Stone says in the 3 minute, 26 second spot, which also features Daniel Ellsberg, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Phil Donahue. The spot was directed by Brian Knappenberger and produced by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The video is an effort to garner support for an
  4. (AP) Merkel calls Obama to complain about surveillance By GEIR MOULSON and JOHN-THOR DAHLBURG Associated Press BERLIN German Chancellor Angela Merkel complained to President Barack Obama on Wednesday after learning that U.S. intelligence may have targeted her mobile phone, saying that would be "a serious breach of trust" if confirmed. For its part, the White House denied that the U.S. is listening in on Merkel's phone calls now. "The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor," White House spokesman
  5. The National Security Agency recorded information about more than 124 billion phone calls during a 30-day period earlier this year, including around 3 billion calls from U.S. sources, according to a tally from top-secret documents released by multiple news outlets. Documents revealing details about the NSA’s Boundless Informant program show that information regarding billions of phone calls and computer communications was collected by the agency from across the world. Boundless Informant “allows users to select a country on a map and view the meta data volume and select details about the c
  6. Tor is still DHE 1024 (NSA crackable) After more revelations, and expert analysis, we still aren't precisely sure what crypto the NSA can break. But everyone seems to agree that if anything, the NSA can break 1024 RSA/DH keys. Assuming no "breakthroughs", the NSA can spend $1 billion on custom chips that can break such a key in a few hours. We know the NSA builds custom chips, they've got fairly public deals with IBM foundries to build chips. The problem with Tor is that it still uses these 1024 bit keys for much of its crypto, particularly because most people are still using older versions o
  7. N.S.A. Foils Much Internet Encryption (The New York Times)The National Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents. Associated PressThis undated photo released by the United States government shows the National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade, Md. The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that
  8. The National Security Agency has been trying to crack the online anonymity provided by Tor, a US-funded Internet tool designed to keep Net activity private and said to be widely used by dissidents in oppressive countries, as well as by terrorists. That's according to the latest secret intelligence documents drawn from the cache leaked by Edward Snowden and published by the UK's Guardian newspaper. The NSA hasn't been able to crack Tor outright, but through various means it's been able to "de-anonymize a very small fraction of Tor users," says an internal NSA document quoted by the Guardian. Th
  9. Ten meltdowns in 13 months cause damage worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and baffle investigators at Utah facility Electrical surges at a huge new National Security Agency data centre have reportedly fried equipment, melted metal and caused fiery explosions, delaying its opening for a year. Ten meltdowns over the past 13 months have caused hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of damage to machinery and baffled investigators at the agency's data storage complex in Utah, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The surges have apparently prevented the NSA from using computer
  10. Microsoft has teamed up with some of its biggest rivals to try to get the U.S. government to help reform the data collection efforts of the National Security Agency. The Washington Post reports that Microsoft, along with Google, Apple, Facebook, AOL and Yahoo!, sent a letter to several members of the U.S. Congress on Thursday on this topic. The letter itself said that while more transparency on how the NSA collects its information is needed, it added that the six companies "... believe that government surveillance practices should also be reformed to include substantial enhancements to priv
  11. The website for the United States National Security Agency suddenly went offline Friday. NSA.gov has been unavailable globally as of late Friday afternoon, and Twitter accounts belonging to people loosely affiliated with the Anonymous hacktivism movement have suggested they are responsible. Twitter users @AnonymousOwn3r and @TruthIzSexy both were quick to comment on the matter, and implied that a distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS, may have been waged as an act of protest against the NSA. Allegations that those users participated in the DDoS — a method of over-loading a website
  12. A 12 year old boy has pleaded guilty to three counts of hacking in a Canadian court on Thursday. The fifth grader, who was 11 at the time of the offences, aided Anonymous in DDOS attacks against government sites during the 2012 Quebec student protests. The boy contributed to the crashing of sites and acquired user and administrator information from database servers. He is also accused of defacing the front page of websites. The Toronto Sun reports one of the hacked sites was down for two days, causing over $60,000 in damage. A report is expected to detail the extent of the attacks on tar
  13. The U.S. National Security Agency has been allowed to continue to collect phone records in bulk of people in the country, while lawmakers consider new legislation that would block the agency from collecting the data. The government's application for reauthorization of the program for a period of 90 days was approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), according to a joint statement Friday by the Department of Justice and Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The government argued that it was seeking the extension as the relevant legislation has not been enacted ye
  14. Last year Edward Snowden leaked the NSA's Advanced Network Technology catalog, a listing of the hardware and software tools the agency makes available to agents for spying. Now enterprising security experts are using the catalog to build similar tools using available electronics. The team, led by Michael Ossmann of Great Scott Gadgets, examined the leaked catalog and found that a number of the devices the NSA developed can be very simple to recreate. Ossmann was able to build a software-defined radio (SDR) system capable of recording and transmitting data from a target PC using a Kickstarter p
  15. The House of Representatives last night overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act that would cut funding for two programs that grant intelligence agencies access to the private data and communications of U.S. citizens. The amendment shows that Congress is willing to adjust and follow a different tactic to rein in government surveillance powers after a more straightforward legislative approach failed last month. Privacy and civil rights advocates heralded that first effort, known as the USA FREEDOM Act, as a promising step toward controlling government s
  16. Evidence has come to light suggesting that the US National Security Agency (NSA) tampers with networking hardware kit from US firms in order to help it monitor and gain information on surveillance targets. Sections from the journalist Glenn Greenwald's upcoming book claim the NSA regularly installs itself into hardware that is being sent overseas. It was accused of doing this to enable surveillance, and its motives and means have been branded potentially illegal. "The NSA routinely receives - or intercepts - routers, servers and other computer network devices being exported from the US before
  17. Web users and developers should take new steps to avoid surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency and other spy organizations, a group of privacy and digital rights advocates said Monday. The 30-plus groups, including Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Reddit, Free Press and the Libertarian Party, have set June 5 as the day to "reset the 'Net" by deploying new privacy tools. June 5 is the anniversary of the first news stories about NSA surveillance based on leaks by former agency contractor Edward Snowden. Governments are building a "prison" around the Internet, the groups said in
  18. The latest revelation from the cache of Snowden documents shows that the NSA targets sysadmins to gain access to the infrastructure that they are responsible for. System administrators that are not necessarily the target of NSA surveillance are being targeted by the American spy agency because of their access to networks that the NSA wishes to gain entry into. As reported by The Intercept, the NSA looks to track down the personal email and Facebook accounts of sysadmins to infiltrate networks and the data they carry. "Sys admins are a means to an end," states the latest document from Snowden,
  19. NSA general counsel Rajesh De contradicts months of angry denials from big companies like Yahoo and Google De said communications content and associated metadata harvested by the NSA occurred with the knowledge of the companies. Photo: KeystoneUSA-Zuma/Rex The senior lawyer for the National Security Agency stated unequivocally on Wednesday that US technology companies were fully aware of the surveillance agency’s widespread collection of data, contradicting months of angry denials from the firms. Rajesh De, the NSA general counsel, said all communications content and associated metadata h
  20. Secret files newly published by the German magazine Der Spiegel and The Intercept provide a glimpse into the scope and nature of US and UK intelligence agencies' targeting of world leaders. Such spying appears more pervasive and intrusive than previously reported. The documents, provided to journalists by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden and published on Saturday, highlight how German Chancellor Angela Merkel and more than 100 other foreign leaders have been placed in a top-secret surveillance database hosted by the NSA and have been subjected to heightened scrutiny.
  21. Online banking and shopping in America are being negatively impacted by ongoing revelations about the National Security Agency’s digital surveillance activities. That is the clear implication of a recent ESET-commissioned Harris poll which asked more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older whether or not, given the news about the NSA’s activities, they have changed their approach to online activity. Almost half of respondents (47%) said that they have changed their online behavior and think more carefully about where they go, what they say, and what they do online. When it comes to specific I
  22. The NSA searches the data it collects incidentally on Americans, including phone calls and emails, during the course of terrorism investigations. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, confirmed the searches in a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden, the first time that such actions have been confirmed publicly by U.S. intelligence officials. Clapper, the head of all U.S. intelligence agencies, said in the letter that the NSA, which is tasked with collecting intelligence on foreign nationals, has searched the data that is has collected on Americans as part of its collection of foreign intel
  23. A couple weeks ago, we learned from leaked documents that the NSA has the capability to record an entire country's calls, texts, and email in real time. That's a hell of a capability, and those documents revealed that it was being used in one country. Now, thanks to a retired NSA leader, we know which country that is: Iraq. In a curious turn of events, John "Chris" Inglis, who recently retired from the top civilian post, divulged the details of its sweeping surveillance program in a Los Angeles Times story by Ken Dilanian, who Glenn Greenwald calls "one of the most pro-NSA reporters in the c
  24. The respected encryption and network security company RSA Security (now a division of EMC), whose respect was already on stack after revelation by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA created a flawed random number generation system (Dual_EC_DRBG), Dual Elliptic Curve, which the most trusted security provider company RSA used in its Bsafe security tool. Until then RSA wasn't able to come up from this aspersion, a new document by Snowden revealed that RSA received $10 million from NSA for keeping Encryption Weak. Researchers from Johns Hopkins, the University of Wisconsin
  25. Edward Snowden has revealed that he witnessed “numerous instances” of National Security Agency (NSA) employees passing around nude photos that were intercepted “in the course of their daily work.” In a 17-minute interview with The Guardian filmed at a Moscow hotel and published on Thursday, the NSA whistleblower addressed numerous points, noting that he could “live with” being sent to the US prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He also again dismissed any notion that he was a Russian spy or agent—calling those allegations “bullshit.” If Snowden’s allegations of sexual photo distribution ar
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