Just how deep does the NSA
rabbit hole go? The Washington Post reports
that the NSA is "gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world." This enables the agency to track an individual user throughout the day, virtually mapping out every location that the cellphone owner has visited. According to the NSA, the location tracking is an incidental side effect of data collection
, although U.S. officials have deemed the practice lawful as the data could assist in the development of the country's intelligence regarding foreign threats.Continue reading...
Microsoft is done playing nice with the National Security Agency. ITProPortal reports that Microsoft has now labeled the United States government an "advanced persistent threat" to its customers' security, a designation that the company normally uses only "for foreign state-sponsored cyber terrorists." Microsoft's decision to label its own government a persistent threat comes as the company is working to beef up end-to-end encryption for all of its data center Internet traffic following revelations that the NSA has found a way to hack into major tech companies' data centers. Both Google and Yahoo similarly moved to encrypt their data center traffic after learning of the NSA's escapades.
Stanford researchers are trying to act like the NSA
in order to learn about the NSA. Researchers Jonathan Mayer and Patrick Mutchler created MetaPhone
, an Android app which collects a phone’s metadata and compares it to basic information on Facebook
. After learning that the NSA collects phone metadata from Verizon
such as calling and texting logs, the researchers wanted to test how revealing this metadata is. “Some defenders of the NSA’s bulk collection programs have taken the position that metadata is not revealing,” Jonathan Mayer told MIT Technology Review
. “We want to provide empirical evidence on the issue.… Our hypothesis is that phone metadata is packed with meaning.”Continue reading...
BlackBerry's handset sales
have been an absolute horror show this year
but the company may get an unexpected boost going forward thanks to an unlikely source. Writing over at FirstPost
, Ivor Soans notes that many governments around the world are still hopping mad about revelations on the National Security Agency's vast data collection practices and thus may take a second look at BlackBerry
devices and services as their only truly secure option that American spies can't hack into.Continue reading...
A document provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden apparently reveals that the NSA
has been keeping track of online sexual activity for certain targets that can potentially “radicalize” others through public speeches, videos and articles in which they express their views against America. In addition to keeping tabs on porn habits, the NSA has also been tracking their lifestyle and money spending, including the use of money from donations for personal expenses for these individuals, The Huffington Post reports
. Continue reading...
The National Security Agency may have to work a little harder to hack into Microsoft's
data centers in the near future. Unnamed sources tell The Washington Post
that Microsoft "is moving toward a major new effort to encrypt its Internet traffic after concluding that the National Security Agency may have broken into its global communications systems." Microsoft's decision to encrypt its data center traffic
comes after Google, Facebook
and Yahoo made similar moves
after news broke that the NSA has found a way to hack into their data centers. The Post's
sources say that high-level Microsoft executives are meeting this week to decide what encryption measures the company will take and how quickly they'll be deployed.