Archive for the Internet Category

NSA spying on American citizens deepens to internet traffic

Posted in Big Brother, Internet, NSA with tags , , , , , on August 21, 2013 by saynsumthn

The Wall Street Journal peels back another layer of the NSA surveillance onion with an exclusive report:

The National Security Agency—which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens—has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans’ Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say. The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say.

More details on “filtering” capabilities and processes. Note well the bits about content interception and data storage:

The NSA’s filtering, carried out with telecom companies, is designed to look for communications that either originate or end abroad, or are entirely foreign but happen to be passing through the U.S. But officials say the system’s broad reach makes it more likely that purely domestic communications will be incidentally intercepted and collected in the hunt for foreign ones…This filtering takes place at more than a dozen locations at major Internet junctions in the U.S., officials say. Previously, any NSA filtering of this kind was largely believed to be happening near points where undersea or other foreign cables enter the country….The NSA is focused on collecting foreign intelligence, but the streams of data it monitors include both foreign and domestic communications. Inevitably, officials say, some U.S. Internet communications are scanned and intercepted, including both “metadata” about communications, such as the “to” and “from” lines in an email, and the contents of the communications themselves. Much, but not all, of the data is discarded, meaning some communications between Americans are stored in the NSA’s databases, officials say. Some lawmakers and civil libertarians say that, given the volumes of data NSA is examining, privacy protections are insufficient.

MORE at TownHall

Gates and Facebook join up for Hackathon event

Posted in Bill Gates, Facebook, Internet with tags , , , on April 4, 2013 by saynsumthn

Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have joined forces again to help develop more tech tools for education and learning. It’s time for HackEd 2.0.

The tech giants will be hosting two all-day hackathons this month, a Facebook spokesperson told CNET. More than 20 teams of tech education enthusiasts, education experts, and top-notch developers will spend April 9 at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters brainstorming, coding, and building apps. A similar event will take place on April 24 in Facebook’s London office.

Those apps then will be judged by a panel of experts — including Facebook and Gates representatives and some venture capitalists — and the winners will get cash awards in categories such as college-going, social learning, and out-of-school study.

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Google’s censorship report reveals Government requests for user data information and content removal drastically increased

Posted in Big Brother, Google, Internet, Privacy with tags , , , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by saynsumthn

PC World titled their article: Google Reports ‘Alarming’ Rate of Government Censorship

About two years ago Google started posting data online in its Transparency Report. The data includes real-time traffic information, as well as requests from individuals, companies, or governments to surrender data, and requests to have sites or information removed from Google search or from YouTube.

According to CNN, Western governments, including the United States, appear to be stepping up efforts to censor Internet search results and YouTube videos, according to a “transparency report” released by Google.

“It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect — Western democracies not typically associated with censorship,” Dorothy Chou, a senior policy analyst at Google, wrote in a blog post on Sunday night.

In the last half of 2011, U.S. agencies asked Google to remove 6,192 individual pieces of content from its search results, blog posts or archives of online videos, according to the report. That’s up 718% compared with the 757 such items that U.S. agencies asked Google to remove in the six months prior.

In the last half of 2011, Google received 6,321 requests for user data from government agencies in the United States and complied at least in part with 93% of them, according to data released in the report.

Those requests for information about Google users come as part of criminal investigations, Google says, and are not unique to the company.

Google complied more frequently with U.S.-based requests for information about users than with requests from other countries, according to the report.

The number of user data requests Google received from the United States was up 6% over the previous six-month period and 37% compared with the last half of 2010.

See Goggle’s Transparency Report here

CISPA: (Cyber Security Snoops) Say Hello To Big Brother

Posted in Alex Jones, Constitution, cyber security, free speech, Internet with tags , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2012 by saynsumthn

According to Techland Time: CISPA, a bill that would essentially nullify current privacy laws and set companies up to share data about users with the government without the need for court orders. CISPA would amend the National Security Act of 1947 — responsible for merging the Department of Navy and War, splitting the Air Force from the Army and creating both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Council (NSC) — by adding provisions that would apply to cybercrime. It aims “[to] provide for the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity entities,” as well as “other purposes.”

What qualifies as a “cyber threat” according to the latest draft of the bill?

…information in the possession of an element of the intelligence community directly pertaining to a vulnerability of, or threat to, a system or network of a government or private entity, including information pertaining to the protection of a system or network from (A) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or (B) efforts to gain unauthorized access to a system or network, including efforts to gain such unauthorized access to steal or misappropriate private or government information.

Congress has attempted to sneak legislation that could change the face of the Internet as we know it, and all in the name of national security. First there was SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, but now CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing Protection Act) is threatening the privacy and freedom of US citizens. No online activity will be safe when it comes to these bills because as of now what’s considered a cyber security threat is a large grey area, but David Seaman, journalist and host of The DL Show, joins us to take a closer look at CISPA.

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CISPA: (Cyber Security Snoops) Say Hello To Big…, posted with vodpod


Official Summary
11/30/2011–Introduced.Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 – Amends the National Security Act of 1947 to add provisions concerning cyber threat intelligence and information sharing. Defines “cyber threat intelligence” as information in the possession of an element of the intelligence community directly pertaining to a vulnerability of, or threat to, a system or network of a government or private entity, including information pertaining to the protection of a system or network from:
(1) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or
(2) theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information. Requires the Director of National Intelligence to:
(1) establish procedures to allow intelligence community elements to share cyber threat intelligence with private-sector entities, and
(2) encourage the sharing of such intelligence. Requires the procedures established to ensure that such intelligence is only:
(1) shared with certified entities or a person with an appropriate security clearance,
(2) shared consistent with the need to protect U.S. national security, and
(3) used in a manner that protects such intelligence from unauthorized disclosure. Provides for guidelines for the granting of security clearance approvals to certified entities or officers or employees of such entities. Authorizes a cybersecurity provider (a non-governmental entity that provides goods or services intended to be used for cybersecurity purposes), with the express consent of a protected entity (an entity that contracts with a cybersecurity provider) to:
(1) use cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information in order to protect the rights and property of the protected entity; and
(2) share cyber threat information with any other entity designated by the protected entity, including the federal government. Regulates the use and protection of shared information, including prohibiting the use of such information to gain a competitive advantage and, if shared with the federal government, exempts such information from public disclosure. Prohibits a civil or criminal cause of action against a protected entity, a self-protected entity (an entity that provides goods or services for cybersecurity purposes to itself), or a cybersecurity provider acting in good faith under the above circumstances. Directs the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to submit annually to Congress a review of the sharing and use of such information by the federal government, as well as recommendations for improvements and modifications to address privacy and civil liberties concerns. Preempts any state statute that restricts or otherwise regulates an activity authorized by the Act.

Do Not Track: What the FTC’s Privacy Recommendations Mean

Posted in Big Brother, Internet, Privacy with tags , , , , , on April 5, 2012 by saynsumthn

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Do Not Track: What the FTC’s Privacy Recommenda…, posted with vodpod

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission released its final report on privacy. The Commission hopes to bring privacy by design, simplified choice for businesses and consumers, and greater transparency through its recommendations.

As WebProNews previously reported, the White House also released a privacy proposal recently that called for a Privacy Bill of Rights. Both reports show that the government is aware that privacy issues exist for both consumers and businesses.

The FTC report specifically focused on these 5 areas:

1. Do Not Track
2. Mobile
3. Data Brokers
4. Comprehensive Tracking
5. Self-regulation

Jules Polonetsky, the Director and Co-Chair of the Future of Privacy Forum, spoke with us and explained that, while the FTC did ask Congress to pass privacy legislation, it placed a greater emphasis on finding industry best practices for self-regulation. According to him, if a company doesn’t want to be regulated, it should be doing all it can to remove the concerns consumers and the government have.

Since it is an election year, he said it was doubtful that any legislation would go through. However, the issue of privacy is not going away. As a result, he believes businesses should work with customers to find a balance that not only makes users feel their privacy is protected, but that also allows companies to further innovate.

‘Chilling effect’ of monitoring social media

Posted in Internet, Social Media Surveillance with tags , , , , on April 5, 2012 by saynsumthn

‘Chilling effect’ of monitoring social media
Bill Bumpas – OneNewsNow – 4/5/2012

The head of a conservative legal action foundation warns that the White House is heading down a road that will eventually trample on the First Amendment rights of those on social networking websites.

Gary Kreep, executive director of the United States Justice Foundation (USJF), tells OneNewsNow the Obama administration is targeting Marine Sgt. Gary Stein for remarks he made on Facebook while off duty . Stein is currently facing possible disciplinary action “for daring to say that he would obey the U.S. Constitution, as opposed to an unconstitutional order from Mr. Obama,” Kreep reports. “They’re trying to run him out of the Marine Corps.”

But he says the Obama administration’s close monitoring of social network sites is nothing new.

“They announced it last year that they’d set up a whole brand new office and governmental bureaucracy within the White House to monitor the social websites so that they can respond to the distortions and lies being spread about Mr. Obama,” Kreep recalls. “That’s your taxpayer money being used to monitor us on a daily basis, and that’s just wrong. It has a chilling effect on people.”

He believes a clear message is being sent to military personnel and citizens alike that “they better not do anything, because anything they say can and will be used against them no matter what their constitutional rights are.”

The USJF executive director does not think it is right for the administration to deter people from making their disagreements with the president known.

Democrats to continue Internet coup with new cyber bill

Posted in cyber security, Homeland Security, Internet with tags , , , on February 8, 2012 by saynsumthn

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, following a recent anti-piracy legislative debacle with SOPA and PIPA, will lead his second effort of 2012 to push Internet-regulating legislation, this time in the form of a new cybersecurity bill. The expected bill is the latest attempt by the Democrats to broadly expand the authority of executive branch agencies over the Internet.

Details about the bill remain shrouded in secrecy. Clues available to the public suggest that the bill might be stronger than President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity proposal, which was released in May 2011. Reid said that he would bring the bill — expected to come out of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, chaired by Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman — to the floor during the first Senate work period of 2012.

A classified meeting behind closed doors in October 2011 between key Senate committee leaders with jurisdiction over cybersecurity and White House officials, took place at the request of the Obama administration. Lieberman, in an interview with The Hill in October, said that past Senate cybersecurity bills were considerably stronger than the White House proposal.

The White House proposal recommended that the Department of Homeland Security be given broad regulatory authority for cybersecurity matters over civilian networks. The White House proposal also recommends that the DHS program be “developed in consultation with privacy and civil liberties experts and with the approval of the Attorney General.”
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