Preoccupations + gchq   105

Spies and internet giants are in the same business: surveillance. But we can stop them | John Naughton | Comment is free | The Guardian
" in the end, both the intelligence agencies and the tech companies are in the same business, namely surveillance. And both groups, oddly enough, provide the same kind of justification for what they do: that their surveillance is both necessary (for national security in the case of governments, for economic viability in the case of the companies) and conducted within the law. We need to test both justifications and the great thing about the European court of justice judgment is that it starts us off on that conversation."
John_Naughton  Guardian  2015  Edward_Snowden  NSA  GCHQ  surveillance  privacy  data_protection  ECJ  safe_harbour 
october 2015 by Preoccupations
No more NSA spying? Sorry, Mr Obama, but that's not true | Technology | The Observer
"bulk collection of metadata undermines a fundamental principle of any civilised legal system – the presumption of innocence until proved otherwise. Current NSA/GCHQ practice effectively turns every citizen into a suspect to be surveilled, just in case, at some time in the future, the state decides to take an interest in him or her. … what we are now discovering is how flawed the US law-making process relating to warrantless surveillance was. In the UK, the parliamentary process that led to RIPA, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, was also flawed but in a different way. In the US, it was Dick Cheney and the politicians who decided what they wanted the NSA to do and drafted the law accordingly. Over here, the spooks told the politicians what they wanted and the legislators obliged. This is no way to run a democracy."
John_Naughton  NSA  USA  GCHQ  UK  surveillance  democracy  privacy  rights  Observer  2014 
april 2014 by Preoccupations
How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations - The Intercept
"no government should be able to engage in these tactics: what justification is there for having government agencies target people – who have been charged with no crime – for reputation-destruction, infiltrate online political communities, and develop techniques for manipulating online discourse? But to allow those actions with no public knowledge or accountability is particularly unjustifiable."
Edward_Snowden  Glenn_Greenwald  2014  GCHQ 
february 2014 by Preoccupations
Eight tech giants have sided with citizens over spies, but it's not enough | Jeff Jarvis | Comment is free | theguardian.com
"Please note who is missing from the list – the signators are Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Microsoft, Aol, Apple, LinkedIn. I see no telecom company there — Verizon, AT&T, Level 3, the companies allegedly in a position to hand over our communications data and enable governments to tap straight into internet traffic. Where is Amazon, another leader in the cloud whose founder, Jeff Bezos, now owns the Washington Post? Where are Cisco and other companies whose equipment is used to connect the net and by some governments to disconnect it? Where are the finance companies — eBay, Visa, American Express — that also know much about what we do? Where is the letter to David Cameron, who has threatened prior restraint of the Guardian’s revelations, and to the members of the parliament committee who last week grilled Rusbridger, some of them painting acts of journalism — informing citizens of their governments’ acts against them — as criminal or disloyal? Since they urge worldwide reform, I wish the tech companies would address the world’s governments, starting with GCHQ’s overseers in London."
Jeff_Jarvis  Guardian  2013  surveillance  NSA  GCHQ  USA  UK  privacy 
december 2013 by Preoccupations
An Attack on the Press, on Both Sides of the Pond | American Civil Liberties Union
"Once a reporter has received information in the public interest (subject to the narrowest of exceptions), that information must be allowed to be reported without limitation and at the discretion of the journalist. Only through this freedom can we hold our public servants to account for their actions, good or bad. In Britain, to their shame, these servants seem to have forgotten whom they serve."
Alan_Rusbridger  Edward_Snowden  NSA  GCHQ  UK  USA  2013  press_freedom  press  freedom  Milton 
december 2013 by Preoccupations
GCHQ data snooping has "destroyed trust in British tech" | News | PC Pro
"Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at the University of Cambridge, told PC Pro that encryption experts were trying to make the internet safer, but GCHQ's mission was "exactly the opposite". He said: "We have no more in common with them [GCHQ] than the pope has with a brothel keeper.""
Ross_Anderson  GCHQ  security  surveillance  encryption  2013  from iphone
november 2013 by Preoccupations
Intelligence and transparency: nothing to see here
"An American or European visitor would have been most struck by what the committee did not ask: it barely touched on the substantive issues raised by the Snowden documents. It skated over any serious questioning about the complex issues to do with mass surveillance, civil liberties or privacy. There were no questions about GCHQ's reported involvement in agencies helping themselves to traffic between Google data servers. There was nothing on the bugging of world leaders who might be considered allies, not enemies. Nothing on the reliance on corporate partners – "well beyond" what they are legally required to do. And nothing on the issue raised by Sir Tim Berners-Lee – the "appalling and foolish" weakening of internet encryption with potentially terrible consequences for individuals and businesses. These matters have been widely discussed in this country, including in such subversive journals as the FT and the Economist. Indeed, they have been debated in every serious newspaper and legislature in the world. They will become manifest in reformed laws, treaties and alliances. But there was little suggestion today that much of this was of true concern."
Parliament  oversight  scrutiny  Guardian  2013  Edward_Snowden  NSA  GCHQ  surveillance  privacy  from iphone
november 2013 by Preoccupations
Tim Berners-Lee: encryption breaking by spy agencies 'appalling and foolish'
"In contrast to several senior British politicians – including prime minister David Cameron – who have called for the Guardian to be investigated over its reporting of the Snowden leaks, Berners-Lee sees both the news organisation and Snowden himself as having acted in the public interest."
Tim_Berners-Lee  Guardian  2013  NSA  GCHQ  USA  UK  surveillance  Edward_Snowden 
november 2013 by Preoccupations
Mike Hearn on NSA/GCHQ
"The packet capture shown in these new NSA slides shows internal database replication traffic for the anti-hacking system I worked on for over two years. Specifically, it shows a database recording a user login as part of this system:

http://googleblog.blogspot.ch/2013/02/an-update-on-our-war-against-account.html

Recently +Brandon Downey, a colleague of mine on the Google security team, said (after the usual disclaimers about being personal opinions and not speaking for the firm which I repeat here) - "fuck these guys":

https://plus.google.com/108799184931623330498/posts/SfYy8xbDWGG

I now join him in issuing a giant Fuck You to the people who made these slides. I am not American, I am a Brit, but it's no different - GCHQ turns out to be even worse than the NSA.

We designed this system to keep criminals out. There's no ambiguity here. The warrant system with skeptical judges, paths for appeal, and rules of evidence was built from centuries of hard won experience. When it works, it represents as good a balance as we've got between the need to restrain the state and the need to keep crime in check. Bypassing that system is illegal for a good reason.

Unfortunately we live in a world where all too often, laws are for the little people. Nobody at GCHQ or the NSA will ever stand before a judge and answer for this industrial-scale subversion of the judicial process. In the absence of working law enforcement, we therefore do what internet engineers have always done - build more secure software. The traffic shown in the slides below is now all encrypted and the work the NSA/GCHQ staff did on understanding it, ruined.

Thank you Edward Snowden. For me personally, this is the most interesting revelation all summer."
Google  surveillance  NSA  GCHQ  security  encryption  Edward_Snowden  2013 
november 2013 by Preoccupations
How we know the NSA had access to internal Google and Yahoo cloud data
"We do not know exactly how the NSA and GCHQ intercept the data, other than it happens on British territory. But we do know they are intercepting it from inside the Yahoo and Google private clouds, because some of what NSA and GCHQ collect is found nowhere else."
NSA  Google  Yahoo!  cloud-computing  surveillance  Washington_Post  2013  Edward_Snowden  USA  GCHQ  UK 
november 2013 by Preoccupations
Empire of digital chip meets nemesis: the law of diminishing political returns | Simon Jenkins
"The innovations of the past few years, initially so exhilarating, show ever more downsides. … The thesis of a knowledge-led enlightenment now faces its antithesis, a menacing, secretive techno-centralism, with as yet no synthesis. Morozov and other "cyber-realists" are sceptical of the new utopia, seeing in its arrogant ambitions the old familiar path to dictatorship and tears. … The capacity of digital technology to expand human experience is clearly immense. So too is its capacity to menace us. We have yet to wrestle these two capacities into balance, but we must. The idea that such a balance is not fit for an informed debate is ridiculous. That parliament has become the agent for its suppression is outrageous."
Guardian  Simon_Jenkins  Silicon_Valley  technology  utopianism  Evgeny_Morozov  GCHQ  Parliament  from iphone
october 2013 by Preoccupations
When Journalists Are Called Traitors: From the Spiegel Affair to Snowden : The New Yorker
"When a government calls journalists traitors the questions should begin, not end. … The argument, made by Parker and others, that rules can’t be revealed because if terrorists know what they are they’ll find ways to work around them, is as dangerous as it gets. We get to know the rules, so we can find ways to work through our lives and figure out who should be governing us and how. Governments get to keep some secrets, but the most important point to come out of the Snowden revelations is that they shouldn’t get to have secret laws. … The professional secret-keepers are phenomenally bad at distinguishing between the threat of terror and their terror at being threatened—or worse … at being humiliated. They need the press not just to shake them up but also to keep them from being destabilized by their own weaknesses and vanities. … Journalists have to defend journalists—not blindly, no matter what someone does, but without the sort of amour propre that leads one to think that only those who are disreputable will ever get in trouble. … reporters should be ready—for the wild stories governments tell and the charges they throw around, as well as for their secrets."
New_Yorker  USA  UK  GCHQ  NSA  Edward_Snowden  Guardian  journalism  2013 
october 2013 by Preoccupations
RUSI - In Defence of National Security Scrutiny
" a public unwilling to trust its political class with taxi receipts is asked to take blanket assurances that their privacy and security are protected. … The British public must take on trust that surveillance is necessary and proportionate. The British public must take on trust that oversight can happen entirely behind closed doors. And the British press should take on trust, without evidence, any claims of harms as a result of peeping behind the curtain. That seems like a lot to ask."
GCHQ  UK  surveillance  Edward_Snowden  2013  Guardian  James_Ball 
october 2013 by Preoccupations
Telekom legt Vorschlag gegen britisch-amerikanische Überwachung vor - SPIEGEL ONLINE
""Internetverkehr kennt keine Grenzen, Daten können um die ganze Welt geleitet werden", sagte Telekom-Datenschutzvorstand Thomas Kremer der "Rheinischen Post". "Wenn Sender und Empfänger aber in Deutschland sind, wollen wir jetzt erreichen, dass der Internetverkehr auch in Deutschland bleibt.""
Germany  internet  USA  UK  NSA  GCHQ  surveillance  2013  privacy 
october 2013 by Preoccupations
Twitter / flashboy: Imagine a nightmarish ...
RT : Imagine a nightmarish post-Leveson world where a cowed press simply parrots the government line OH HANG ON
press  newspapers  GCHQ  UK  Guardian  Edward_Snowden  surveillance  2013  from twitter
october 2013 by Preoccupations
Why the NSA's attacks on the internet must be made public | Bruce Schneier | Comment is free | theguardian.com
"Today, the Guardian is reporting on how the NSA targets Tor users, along with details of how it uses centrally placed servers on the internet to attack individual computers. This builds on a Brazilian news story from last week that, in part, shows that the NSA is impersonating Google servers to users; a German story on how the NSA is hacking into smartphones; and a Guardian story from two weeks ago on how the NSA is deliberately weakening common security algorithms, protocols, and products. The common thread among these stories is that the NSA is subverting the internet and turning it into a massive surveillance tool. The NSA's actions are making us all less safe, because its eavesdropping mission is degrading its ability to protect the US. … with the rise of mass-market computing and the internet, the two missions have become interwoven. It becomes increasingly difficult to attack their systems and defend our systems, because everything is using the same systems: Microsoft Windows, Cisco routers, HTML, TCP/IP, iPhones, Intel chips, and so on. Finding a vulnerability – or creating one – and keeping it secret to attack the bad guys necessarily leaves the good guys more vulnerable. Far better would be for the NSA to take those vulnerabilities back to the vendors to patch. Yes, it would make it harder to eavesdrop on the bad guys, but it would make everyone on the internet safer. If we believe in protecting our critical infrastructure from foreign attack, if we believe in protecting internet users from repressive regimes worldwide, and if we believe in defending businesses and ourselves from cybercrime, then doing otherwise is lunacy. It is important that we make the NSA's actions public in sufficient detail for the vulnerabilities to be fixed. It's the only way to force change and improve security."
NSA  GCHQ  Tor  surveillance  privacy  anonymity  Guardian  2013  Edward_Snowden  Glenn_Greenwald  Bruce_Schneier 
october 2013 by Preoccupations
The Snowden files: why the British public should be worried about GCHQ | World news | The Guardian
"People misunderstand what a police state is. It isn't a country where the police strut around in jackboots; it's a country where the police can do anything they like. Similarly, a security state is one in which the security establishment can do anything it likes. We are right on the verge of being an entirely new kind of human society, one involving an unprecedented penetration by the state into areas which have always been regarded as private. Do we agree to that? If we don't, this is the last chance to stop it happening. Our rulers will say what all rulers everywhere have always said: that their intentions are good, and we can trust them. They want that to be a sufficient guarantee."
John_Lanchester  GCHQ  NSA  surveillance  Guardian  2013  Edward_Snowden 
october 2013 by Preoccupations
Academics criticise NSA and GCHQ for weakening online encryption
"Professor Ross Anderson, a security researcher at Cambridge University who is not one of the signatories, said that the publication had shocked some in academia who had thought that their work on encryption was of no interest to security services. "Ten days ago when the Guardian published its revelations about the NSA's skullduggery, it was a wake-up call for a lot of people. It's very, very creditable that Bristol's people have signed this letter," he told the Guardian. "This has been a 9/11 moment for the community, and it's great that some people are beginning to wake up.""
security  encryption  NSA  USA  GCHQ  Guardian  2013  Ross_Anderson 
september 2013 by Preoccupations
How to foil NSA sabotage: use a dead man's switch | Technology | theguardian.com
"When the NSA came up with codenames for its projects to sabotage security products, it chose "BULLRUN" and "MANASSAS", names for a notorious battle from the American civil war in which the public were declared enemies of the state. GCHQ's parallel programme was called "EDGEHILL", another civil war battle where citizens became enemies of their government. Our spies' indiscriminate surveillance programmes clearly show an alarming trend for the state to view everyday people as adversaries. Our world is made up of computers. Our cars and homes are computers into which we insert our bodies; our hearing aids and implanted defibrillators are computers we insert into our bodies. The deliberate sabotage of computers is an act of depraved indifference to the physical security and economic and intellectual integrity of every person alive. If the law is perverted so that we cannot tell people when their security has been undermined, it follows that we must find some other legal way to warn them about services that are not fit for purpose."
Cory  Guardian  2013  NSA  GCHQ  computers  security  surveillance 
september 2013 by Preoccupations
Continuations : Disagreeing with Bruce Schneier: More Crypto is Not the Answer
"Please repeat after me: Surveillance is a political and legal problem, not a technical problem. We have to all become outraged and start a big and public online and offline campaign to take back the law into the hands of the people and their representatives and away from secret organizations “overseen” by secret courts in a system that goes beyond Kafka’s worst nightmares. Anything else is completely and utterly futile and the sooner we stop believing in a technological solution the better."
NSA  GCHQ  USA  UK  Albert_Wenger  2013  Bruce_Schneier  surveillance  Law  civil_liberties  encryption  politics 
september 2013 by Preoccupations
Encryption: The Sky *IS* Falliing | Discourse.net
"This is the secret that likely explains why the Obama and Cameron administrations were willing to do almost anything to try to get Snowden, the reporters he leaked to, and the anyone who touched their data. This is the nuclear winter of data security. … it is not hyperbole to say, as Schneier does, that “[b]y subverting the internet at every level to make it a vast, multi-layered and robust surveillance platform, the NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract.” It’s going to be tough, hard work to rebuild the Internet, and even harder work afterwards to rebuild trust in systems not to mention both public and private institutions."
Bruce_Schneier  2013  NSA  GCHQ  encryption  surveillance  security  privacy  internet  backdoor 
september 2013 by Preoccupations
The next moves in the Spooks v. News cold war - Charlie's Diary
"The spooks are not stupid. There are two ways they can respond to this in a manner consistent with their current objectives. They can try to shut down the press — a distinct possibility within the UK, but still incredibly dangerous — or they can shut down the open internet, in order to stop the information leakage over that channel and, more ambitiously, to stop the public reading undesirable news. I think they're going for the latter option, although I doubt they can make it stick. Let me walk you through the early stages of what I think is going to happen. In the UK it's fairly obvious what the mechanism will be. Prime Minister David Cameron has thrown his weight behind mandatory opt-out porn filtering at an ISP level, to protect our children from a torrent of filth on the internet. (He's turned to Chinese corporation Huawei for the tool in question.) All new domestic ISP customer accounts in the UK will be filtered by default, unless the owner opts out. There's also the already-extant UK-wide child pornography filter operated by the Internet Watch Foundation, although its remit is limited to items that are probably illegal to possess ("probably" because that's a determination for a court of law to make). And an existing mechanism — the Official Secrets Act — makes it an offense to possess, distribute, or publish state secrets. Traditionally newspapers were warned off certain state secrets by a process known as a Defense Advisory Notice, warning that publication would result in prosecution. It doesn't take a huge leap of the imagination to foresee the creation of a law allowing for items subject to a DA-Notice to be filtered out of the internet via a national-level porn filter to protect the precious eyeballs of the citizenry from secrets that might trouble their little heads."
democracy  internet  Charlie_Stross  2013  NSA  GCHQ  USA  UK  censorship 
august 2013 by Preoccupations
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