Archive for the ‘Edward Snowden’ Category

Security means knowing your network better than your attackers or your users: ex NSA head – CSO Australia

Australian debate on encryption based on a very thoughtful question about visibility of governments own insider threat

Governments must be held to higher standards than commercial entities when it comes to protecting citizens privacy, a former deputy head of the US National Security Agency has said while noting that increasingly complicated threats have nonetheless necessitated a fresh look at security and privacy.

Few know this better than Chris Inglis, a career US military officer who served as deputy director of the NSA for 8 years and presided over the ignominious mass information leak by Edward Snowden. Snowdens actions which Inglis has previously said showed a lack of courage drew attention onto the NSA and its mass surveillance programs, which eventually led to changes in the NSAs remit and even bigger problems when NSA-developed exploits were this year leveraged to enable the mass WannaCry and Petya malware attacks.

Snowdens compromise, and the significant shift in government transparency that Snowdens revelations about mass surveillance occasioned, has been a defining force in reshaping the information-security dialogue between public and private sectors. Recent years have seen governments in Australia and elsewhere moving to formalise their cybersecurity defences, as well as the rapid maturation of a security community that has tapped novel technologies to respond to the growth in low and slow infiltrations used by malicious insider like Snowden.

Because they are familiar with installed defences, such insiders have proven uniquely able to avoid tripping conventional alarms. And this, says Inglis, has laid out the extent of the problem facing companies and government agencies alike.

Weve got to move from episodic defence at choke points, to a continuous understanding of whats happening on these networks such that we can detect anomalies or bad activities the first time it happens, he explains. Its no longer good enough to react well; you have to anticipate well.

Inglis comments mirror those of Australian government cybersecurity advisor Alistair MacGibbon, who has frequently and publicly called for change in our collective approach to security. Security vendors have been on the same page, with analysts warning years ago that Australian companies are thinking reactively more than in an agile way. This requires engagement from the business yet even as hackers get more professional about their approach to breaching security, some CSOs had struggled to make the same progress in getting the executive support they need.

This had led many companies into a similar situation as the one that Inglis and his peers faced at the NSA where companies find themselves compromised and trying after the fact to figure out where they had gone wrong. With Australian businesses recently ranked as the most likely in the world to deploy data loss prevention tools after a breach rather than before one its a lesson that many companies will continue to learn the hard way.

Inglis, for one, has put his money on user entity behavioural analytics (UEBA) technology that watches users online behaviour on an ongoing basis, quietly searching for behavioural anomalies that might indicate suspicious behaviour by otherwise-trusted users.

Shortly after leaving the NSA, Inglis joined the advisory board of UEBA vendor Securonix, which this month opened shop in Australia to tap into a land rush for ANZ businesses that are shoring up their defences in anticipation of a perfect storm of new legislation and governance requirements they will face in 2018 and beyond.

UEBA is just as important in catching outsiders as it is in catching Snowden-like insiders. Outsiders Holy Grail is to become someone or something that has privileges inside the system, Inglis said. Youre looking for a baseline that says that there is actually a different entity behind this privilege, and you want to catch that to defend the integrity and reputation of the person whose privileges have been stolen.

Once that theft happens, the damage can be considerable and fast. We have put more and more power into the hands of fewer individuals, Inglis said. Computers allow you to have much higher leverage based on a single person; the scope and scale attendant to what somebody can do is now much bigger. And your ability to catch it in time to restore things to good order easily, is much harder.

Varying narratives about Snowdens legacy years later, he remains a traitor to some and a hero to others shouldnt distract from the importance of embracing new technologies to stop what he did, Inglis said, arguing that everything should be on the table at this point.

Despite his call for stronger government oversight, Inglis called for a level-headed approach to the current controversy around the governments plans to force software giants to figure out a way to provide access to otherwise inaccessible communications.

While mass brute-force decryption remains mathematically challenging and the details of how such access might be provided remain sketchy, Inglis said its important to remember that the government is effectively fighting its own insider threat. And while discussion about the mechanisms of such a policy are still in early days, he sees them in large part as an extension of long-standing policy around police access to potential evidence of criminal activity.

The Australian governments push to gain access to secure private messaging was an example of the type of considerations that had to be weighed given the current security climate, Inglis said. The question is whether we can take advantage of the capabilities that are there under the rule of law as it has existed for time immemorial, he explained.

The question now is how do we not force ourselves into a place to choose between one and the other, he said, but to ask the right policy questions and come up with the right framework.

The further question, he continued, is whether you want to begin to alter technology trends so you can continue to have a collective defence with secure domestic and national security and individual rights? The government is held accountable by its citizens to deliver those. Its a very thoughtful question.

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Tags cybersecurity adviser Alistair MacGibbonNational Security AgencyEdward SnowdenPetyaprotecting citizensWannaCryChris Inglismalware attacks

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Security means knowing your network better than your attackers or your users: ex NSA head – CSO Australia

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August 8, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Booz Allen Hamilton’s criminal probe could drag on for years, CEO says – Washington Post

The Department of Justices probe into the billing practices at Booz Allen Hamilton is unlikely to wrap up quickly, the McLean government contracting firms chief executive told analysts Monday.

Horacio Rozanski said the criminal investigation could take years to resolve.

The timeline for resolution remains uncertain, but given the complexity of cost accounting issues and the fact that we are still in the early stages of the investigation, we believe it is more likely to be years than months, Rozanksi said in a call with investors.

The company disclosed on June 15 that it is under federal investigation for the way it handled certain elements of the companys cost accounting and indirect cost charging practices, but has offered little information on the scope of the inquiry or what prompted it. Indirect costs are typically items like general administrative expenses or other overhead that may or may not be allowed under a government contract.

Rozanski emphasized Tuesday that his company is cooperating with the investigation and no charges have yet been brought. He said it is too early to estimate how much the company would spend on legal expenses, and he said the company had not yet set aside funds to deal with the matter.

The lack of clarity has investors worried.

The investigation could be [related to] two accounts out of 10,000 or something widespread that is in all of them. We just dont know, said Brian Ruttenbur, an analyst with Drexel Hamilton

Ruttenbur said the firms stock price has been trading about 5 percent below other firms in its industry, and will likely continue to do so until the issue is resolved. The June 15 revelation that the firm is under criminal investigation was enough to cause the firms stock price to drop by 17.8 percent the following day, erasing most of the stocks post-election gains.

The probe comes as the company is still smarting from allegations that employees Edward Snowden and Harold Martin III were involved in national security leaks.

Rozanski insisted Tuesday that the company has so far seen no impact from the investigation on the companys ability to bid on new contracts or service old ones.

Unless its something like fraud, I dont think this would hurt their business per say, said Cai Von-Rumohr, an analyst with Cowen investment bank. It certainly didnt in the first quarter [of 2017]; their bookings were sensational.

If history is any guide, the financial pain is likely to be small. An analysis of seven similar cases conducted by Cowen investment bank found the firms typically settled for less than $9 million. Thats a relatively small sum for a company as large as Booz Allen, which takes in almost $5.5 billion each year.

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Booz Allen Hamilton’s criminal probe could drag on for years, CEO says – Washington Post

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August 8, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Columbia University Announces New, $100000 Data Journalism Program as Industry Embraces Data – MediaFile

One of the nations premiere journalism schools, Columbia University, just announced the creation of a new Master of Science in Data Journalism degree. The degree can be earned in a 12-month, three-semester program, for an estimated cost of $106,000, according to the university.

In a press release announcing the new degree, Dean Steve Coll said, For journalists to carry out their function as watchdogs on power, storytellers and sifters of the truth, they increasingly must understand how to interrogate data and computer code.

Colls words bring to mind some of the biggest stories from recent years, including the Panama Papers, Hillary Clintons leaked emails and the Edward Snowden leaks.

While Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he wants to crack down on leaks coming from the White House, data leaks do not seem to be disappearing from the public eye anytime soon. This June, voter files from Republican data firm Deep Root Analytics were accidentally leaked online. Data leaks are becoming increasingly commonplace; media giant HBO was the victim of a hack just this week.

Few disagree with Columbia Journalism Schools conclusion that, Journalists who understand data and computation will be able to do their jobs more effectively in a world ever more reliant on complicated streams of information. However, some journalists took to Twitter to criticize the programs price tag.

Poynters Benjamin Mullin, in his article about the new degree, asked the relevant question: But is $100,000 really realistic for journalism students who are graduating into a shrinking industry where the median pay is $38,870 per year?

Derek Willis, a data journalist for ProPublica, seemed to defend the programs price tag in a series of tweets. While he acknowledged that there could be cheaper and more efficient routes, he said that journalism education should be producing more specialists (subject or skill) than generalists.

How we teach and value data journalism concerns the entire industry and journalism education, said Willis in an interview with MediaFile.

Data journalism degrees are a new phenomenon in the United States. Only a few schools have graduate programs that incorporate data and journalism Stanford Universitys Graduate Degree in Journalism also focuses on data, and the UC Berkeley New Media Program has a significant data component.

In Europe, these programs are also relatively new. King Juan Carlos University in Madrid started its Data Journalism program back in 2012. Cardiff University, as well as several other United Kingdom schools, offer programs in data journalism.

Despite this progress, the 2017 Global Data Journalism survey found that Most data journalists have a formal education in communication and journalism. A significantly smaller number have university level education in data and computer related disciplines.

Whether it be investigative data journalism like the Panama Papers reporting, political data journalism like the work that FiveThirtyEight and The Upshot put out during the 2016 presidential campaign, or even reporting on data leaks data journalism has become a mainstay in newsrooms across the board.

Back in 2015, Columbia Journalism Schools Emily Bell was featured on a panel at the Paley Center for Media titled The Next Big Thing in Journalism: Follow the Data. At the event, she said: We might continue to be great school for writers but, unless we put data with that, we will not be a very great school for very long.

As data becomes an increasingly integral part of both everyday life and journalism, it may become an expectation that journalists have a background working with data. So while it may be too early to evaluate Columbias new degree and its cost, programs that specialize in data journalism may become more commonand perhaps cheaperas the news industry shifts towards a data-first mindset.

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Columbia University Announces New, $100000 Data Journalism Program as Industry Embraces Data – MediaFile

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August 7, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Subpoena threats for news organizations real, but not new – Constitution Daily (blog)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that the Justice Department is looking at an expanded policy to subpoena more news organizations who publish classified information. So how would this affect journalists First Amendment rights?

“I’ve listened to our career investigators, FBI agents and others, and of prosecutors about how to most successfully investigate and prosecute these matters,” said Sessions on Friday. “At their suggestion, one of the things we are doing is reviewing policies for effecting media subpoenas.”

Sessions specifically pointed to the Washington Posts publication of two telephone conversation transcripts between President Donald Trump and other world leaders. Trump also have criticized the Post and the New York Times for recent reports that contained information from government intelligence sources about the Russia election investigation.

In prior presidential administrations, the federal government has more often gone after people who leaked the information to the press and not the outlets that published it.

The legal protections for publishers who release classified information, but who arent directly involved in illegally obtaining the same information, are based on a series of Supreme Court decisions. In New York Times v. United States (1971), the Court in a 6-3 decision ruled that the First Amendment protected the newspapers right to publish the Pentagon Papers, government documents about the Vietnam War illegally obtained by a private individual and published in the New York Times and Washington Post.

To find that the President has ‘inherent power’ to halt the publication of news … would wipe out the First Amendment and destroy the fundamental liberty and security of the very people the Government hopes to make ‘secure, said Justice Hugo Black. The word ‘security’ is a broad, vague generality whose contours should not be invoked to abrogate the fundamental law embodied in the First Amendment.

However, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press after illegally obtaining them, was charged with six counts of espionage, six for theft, and one for conspiracy. Although his prosecution ultimately ended in a mistrial due to government misconduct, it was clear that Court didnt believe the First Amendment excused illegal activity, even if it furthered a journalistic interest.

In another case, the Court said in Bartnicki v. Vopper (2001) that a radio commentator who broadcast a phone conversation illegally obtained by another person was protected by the First Amendment. The phone conversation was about public school union negotiations and potential violence related to them. Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said, a stranger’s illegal conduct does not suffice to remove the First Amendment shield from speech about a matter of public concern.

While the press may enjoy a broad protection against prosecution for publishing third-party content, the people who are found to be the leakers dont. For example, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was charged with two crimes under the Espionage Act for stealing classified information and passing it on to publishers. Today, he is staying in Russia living in virtual exile. In 2013, former Army private Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years for giving more than 700,000 documents to Wikileaks. (Mannings sentence was later commuted by President Barack Obama.)

Reporters who also publish classified information may also be compelled by a court to reveal their sources based on the location of the court action, especially if the case is in the federal court system.

In the Supreme Courts Branzburg v. Hayes decision from 1972, the Court found that the First Amendment does not relieve a newspaper reporter of the obligation that all citizens have to respond to a grand jury subpoena and answer questions relevant to a criminal investigation, and therefore the Amendment does not afford him a constitutional testimonial privilege for an agreement he makes to conceal facts relevant to a grand jury’s investigation of a crime or to conceal the criminal conduct of his source or evidence. The Branzburg decision did allow for states to pass their own shield laws to protect reporters from revealing sources; a federal shield law doesnt exist.

Justice Byron White wrote the majority opinion in the 5-4 Branzburg decision, but it was a concurring opinion from Justice Lewis Powell that led to a greater movement toward state shield laws. Powell believed courts should balance the governments need for information with a journalists right to protect sources.

In a high-profile case, former New York Times reporter Judith Miller spent about three months in jail in 2005 after she refused to reveal a source of a White House leak and was found in contempt by a federal judge.

And journalists who actively take part in an illegal activity to acquire information dont usually enjoy legal protections. In 1999, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found that ABC reporters who applied for jobs at a grocery chain to investigate food safety violations were guilty of trespassing. The Fourth Circuit said that even though the publication of the story was in the public interest, the press has no special immunity from the application of general laws.

So while the federal government does issue subpoenas to journalists, they are infrequent. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, using Freedom of Information requests, found out they averaged nine per year between 2001 and 2010, and only two of the 21 subpoenas issued between 2007 and 2010 involved disclosing confidential sources.

Scott Bomboy is editor in chief of the National Constitution Center.

Filed Under: First Amendment

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Subpoena threats for news organizations real, but not new – Constitution Daily (blog)

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August 7, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden: Russian crackdown on web freedom is ‘violation of human rights’ – DeathRattleSports.com

Surveillance expert Edward Snowden, the former US National Security Agency (NSA) analyst turned leaker, has spoken out about the recent spike in internet censorship across Russia and China, saying the incoming ban of VPNs and proxies is a violation of human rights.

On Sunday 30 July, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a law which said any technology that could be used to access blacklisted websites including virtual private networks and online anonymisation software will be completely outlawed from 1 November 2017.

Separate legislation will require all messaging applications in the country to be able to identify users through phone numbers after 1 January next year.

Moscow officials argued that the unprecedented move was designed to block access to illegal content and not to restrict the web for law abiding citizens.

Not everyone agreed. Banning the unauthorised use of basic internet security tools makes Russia both less safe and less free. This is a tragedy of policy, Snowden commented on 30 July, via Twitter.

The NSA whistleblower (or criminal leaker, to some) currently lives in Russia with his partner after being granted asylum in 2013.

He continued: If the next generation is to enjoy the online liberties ours did, innocuous traffic must become truly indistinguishable from the sensitive.

Whether enacted by China, Russia, or anyone else, we must be clear this is not a reasonable regulation but a violation of human rights.

The internet clampdown has been teased for months. In late April, it emerged that Russias media watchdog was drafting the legislation to completely prohibit the use of anonymising software.

Firms that fail to abide by the rules would face hefty financial penalties, reports suggested.

And it is now clear the plans were not limited to Russia, with Chinese authorities also talking up moves to bolster its Great Firewall, the state censorship apparatus. In July 2017, Bloomberg reported that access to VPNs would be banned in China from February next year.

VPNs, and web browsing software such as Tor, are able to circumvent censorship and hide identities in a way that makes it difficult for authorities to track the locations of users. In the post-Snowden world, as state-backed spying hit the public consciousness, use of such tools rocketed.

Snowden, who could risk biting the hand that feeds by criticising the Russian state, warned: For [those]working for major firms: note well this spread in China and Russia within the same week. Dont sleep on the trend. US tech giants have, so far, complied with the bans.

Banning the unauthorized use of basic internet security tools makes Russia both less safe and less free. This is a tragedy of policy.

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Edward Snowden: Russian crackdown on web freedom is ‘violation of human rights’ – DeathRattleSports.com

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August 5, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Obama’s ‘War on Leakers’ Was More Aggressive Than Trump’s So Far – Newsweek

The U.S. Justice Department has significantly ramped up its number of leak investigations, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Friday, more than tripling themcompared with the past three years numbers combined.

Thestatement likely came much to the glee of President Donald Trump. But it was his predecessor, Barack Obama, who charted a course for Trump when it came to leak crackdowns.

Perhaps answering his bosss cries for investigations, Sessions said that at least four people, three of whose cases had not been reported on as of Friday, have already been charged with unlawfully disclosing classified material or with concealing contacts with foreign intelligence officers. He also said the Justice Departmenthad seen a boom in criminal referrals for probes into intelligence agency leaks.

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Referrals for investigations of classified leaks to the Department of Justice from our intelligence agencies have exploded, Sessions said. In the first six months of this administration, DOJ has already received nearly as many criminal referrals involving unauthorized disclosures of classified information as we received in the last three years combined.

To date, only Reality Winner, a 25-year-old federal government contractor accused ofleaking classified information to The Intercept, is known to be facing prosecution. Her trial is set to begin in October.

Sessionss DOJ still has to play catch-up to reach the number of leak investigations from Obamas time.

DOJ prosecutors under the Obama administration pursued nine leak cases, and in May 2013 it was disclosed that federal investigators had surreptitiously seized two months worth of phones records from Associated Press reporters and editors, including home phones and cellphones, The New York Times reported.

Later in 2013, a scathing report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)said the Obama administrations war on leaks had been the worst of its kind since the days of Richard Nixon, who engaged in a cover-up that eventually led to his resignation in 1974.

At the time of the CPJs report, Obamas team had used the Espionage Act, passed in 1917, to kick-start eight prosecutions involving allegations of leakedclassified information, including those against Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. Manning was later granted clemency by Obama, before he left office earlier this year, while Snowden remains in exile in Russia.

Though CPJs report did show that the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington set off a major expansion of information deemed to be classifiedstarting with the administration of President George W. BushObamas eight prosecutions far outranked the three Espionage Act prosecutions under every other president before him.

In May 2016, Obama said that many of the cases prosecuted during his time in office actually were holdovers, but according to Politico that proved to be untrue.

Many of the cases that are often lumped into, you know, my ledger, essentially were cases that were brought before we came into office, Obama said to a college newspaper. Some of them are serious, where you had purposeful leaks of information that could harm or threaten operations or individuals who were in the field involved with really sensitive national security issues.

Politico found that of the eight cases, three were from the Bush administration that preceded Obama.

One of those cases involved New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, who in 2005 revealed the National Security Agencys domestic and clandestine surveillance program. Risen also wrote about a CIA operation to disrupt Irans nuclear program in a book published in 2006. Under Obama, the DOJ and Attorney General Eric Holder attempted to force Risen to testify and reveal his source of the classified information.

In December, Risen penned an op-ed forthe Times,and its closing paragraph now seems almost prophetic: Press freedom advocates already fear that under Senator Jeff Sessions, Mr. Trumps choice to be attorney general, the Justice Department will pursue journalists and their sources at least as aggressively as Mr. Obama did.

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Obama’s ‘War on Leakers’ Was More Aggressive Than Trump’s So Far – Newsweek

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August 5, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden: Russian crackdown on web freedom is ‘violation of human rights’ – International Business Times UK

Surveillance expert Edward Snowden, the former US National Security Agency (NSA) analyst turned leaker, has spoken out about the recent spike in internet censorship across Russia and China, saying the incoming ban of VPNs and proxies is a “violation of human rights”.

On Sunday 30 July, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a law which said any technology that could be used to access blacklisted websites including virtual private networks and online anonymisation software will be completely outlawed from 1 November 2017.

Separate legislation will require all messaging applications in the country to be able to identify users through phone numbers after 1 January next year.

Moscow officials argued that the unprecedented move was designed to block access to illegal content and not to restrict the web for law abiding citizens.

Not everyone agreed. “Banning the ‘unauthorised’ use of basic internet security tools makes Russia both less safe and less free. This is a tragedy of policy,” Snowden commented on 30 July, via Twitter.

The NSA whistleblower (or criminal leaker, to some) currently lives in Russia with his partner after being granted asylum in 2013.

He continued: “If the next generation is to enjoy the online liberties ours did, innocuous traffic must become truly indistinguishable from the sensitive.

“Whether enacted by China, Russia, or anyone else, we must be clear this is not a reasonable ‘regulation’ but a violation of human rights.”

The internet clampdown has been teased for months. In late April, it emerged that Russia’s media watchdog was drafting the legislation to “completely prohibit” the use of anonymising software.

Firms that fail to abide by the rules would face hefty financial penalties, reports suggested.

And it is now clear the plans were not limited to Russia, with Chinese authorities also talking up moves to bolster its Great Firewall, the state censorship apparatus. In July 2017, Bloomberg reported that access to VPNs would be banned in China from February next year.

VPNs, and web browsing software such as Tor, are able to circumvent censorship and hide identities in a way that makes it difficult for authorities to track the locations of users. In the post-Snowden world, as state-backed spying hit the public consciousness, use of such tools rocketed.

Snowden, who could risk biting the hand that feeds by criticising the Russian state, warned: “For [those] working for major firms: note well this spread in China and Russia within the same week. Don’t sleep on the trend.” US tech giants have, so far, complied with the bans.

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Edward Snowden: Russian crackdown on web freedom is ‘violation of human rights’ – International Business Times UK

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August 4, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Former National Security Agency Deputy Director John Inglis warns on data collection – NEWS.com.au

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor turned whistleblower, said Thursday that he saw both presidential candidates as authoritarian. Photo: Getty Images

A FORMER US security chief, who investigated NSA leaker Edward Snowden, says Australians should be alarmed by unchecked collection of personal information. Picture: HBO

A FORMER leading US security chief, who oversaw the investigation into NSA leaker Edward Snowden, has delivered a shocking warning over the unchecked collection of personal information by the private sector.

In an address to the National Press club today, former Deputy Director of Americans National Security Agency John Inglis said Australians should be more concerned about the collection of their data by private business than by the government.

I think we should never take our eye off the government, make sure we constrain them to the purpose for which they defined. But the private sector is running unchecked in this regard, said Mr Inglis who was with the NSA from 2006 to 2014.

Former Deputy Director of the U.S. National Security Agency John Inglis talks at the National Press Club in Canberra. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

Thats by design, you sign user agreements, you willingly give up the data, but the aggregation of that has stunning consequences. Theres very few secrets about your life, where you have been, what you have done.

Im not suggesting that is used maliciously but its a tremendous capability that can be used for good or evil.

You as a citizen may not care about the commercial efficiencies that drive from having all that information in the hands of someone who can put the right advertisement, the right product in front of you, you may care about your privacy you want greater control on that.

Mr Inglis said limits needed to be put on the actions of private enterprise.

We need to have some discussion about what are the appropriate standards for what

information can being a graded and aggregated and what degree of accountability should be effected upon those who aggregate it?

Edward Snowden leaked classified information from the NSA. Picture: HBOSource:Supplied

Im sure they will occasion a great hue and cry about the suppression of free action, perhaps liberty on the part of corporations. We trying to align the rights of individuals against the rights of groups of individuals. Its not taken in a way that fully addresses the implications of where were in the 21st century.

Is privacy dead? I dont think so. I think you can to some agree, modulate your own behaviour. You dont have to have a Facebook account, you dont need various social media accounts.

But its harder and harder. This is where government can assist. It shouldnt do so in a wet blanket way, but establishing the venue and the dialogue by which we can consider the matter and come to rational conclusions.

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Former National Security Agency Deputy Director John Inglis warns on data collection – NEWS.com.au

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August 3, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Phone Companies Introduce Non-Removable Batteries After Edward Snowden Warning – Sputnik International

In 2014 US whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the National Security Agency and GCHQ could turn on smartphones remotely, even when they were switched off. Now, three years later, several smartphone manufacturers have started introducing non-removable batteries. Is it a coincidence?

In June 2013, Snowden revealed the NSA was collecting the phone records ofmillions ofVerizon customers inthe US using a secret court order, and had also tapped the phones ofdozens ofworld leaders, including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Snowden was threatened withprosecution inthe US, and fled toRussia, where he was granted asylum two years later.

The followingyear he gave an interview inwhich he explained how the NSA, and Britain’s GCHQ, had the capability touse smartphones likebugs ina room.

They were able toswitch onpeople’s phones and listen tothem remotely withoutthem being aware, he said.

“They can absolutely turn them onwith the power turned offto the device,” Snowden said.

He said the intelligence agencies could gain access toa handset bysending it an encrypted text message and could even use the phone’s camera withoutthe owner’s knowledge.

The Washington Post had reported the NSA had introduced this feature tohelp US forces hunting al-Qaeda insurgents inIraq.

Earlier this year,WikiLeaks exposed a CIA program aimed athacking computers, mobile phones and even smart TVs fromcompanies likeApple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung, using techniques users could neither detect nor disable byresetting their devices.

After Snowden’s little revelation some people who were extremely concerned aboutgovernment surveillance including criminals and terrorists began removing the batteries entirely fromtheir devices.

Now a number ofsmartphones, likethe Samsung A5, have come onthe market inthe UK, US and elsewhere, which have batteries which cannot be removed.

Some conspiracy theorists might jump tothe conclusion that they have been pressured bythe intelligence agencies toensure smartphones can always be spied on.

“Seemingly the main reason is waterproofing, butthey have already achieved that witha removable battery inthe S5,” Tonny Be, a technology expert, told Sputnik.

“The heads ofGoogle and several other phone/tech manufacturers have been documented inthe media ashaving visited the White House duringthe Obama era,” he told Sputnik.

“Advancement ofnon-removable batteries started toinvade the mobile market coincidence or plan tokeep everyone onthe grid while milking money outof them withneutered devices while keeping those same devices ‘always on’ tobe spied uponby the powers that be?” Mr. Be said.

“You decide: conspiracy theory lunacy or nice, complete, neatly-wrapped package ofevidence being touted ascoincidence?” he added.

“I figure if the powers that be ever admit toit being a collective effort that was forced uponmanufacturers or possibly agreed uponto be tactically put inplay, they’ll spin it inas a preventive terrorist measure,” Mr. Be concluded.

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August 2, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Security means knowing your network better than your attackers or your users: ex NSA head – CSO Australia

Australian debate on encryption based on a very thoughtful question about visibility of governments own insider threat Governments must be held to higher standards than commercial entities when it comes to protecting citizens privacy, a former deputy head of the US National Security Agency has said while noting that increasingly complicated threats have nonetheless necessitated a fresh look at security and privacy. Few know this better than Chris Inglis, a career US military officer who served as deputy director of the NSA for 8 years and presided over the ignominious mass information leak by Edward Snowden. Snowdens actions which Inglis has previously said showed a lack of courage drew attention onto the NSA and its mass surveillance programs, which eventually led to changes in the NSAs remit and even bigger problems when NSA-developed exploits were this year leveraged to enable the mass WannaCry and Petya malware attacks. Snowdens compromise, and the significant shift in government transparency that Snowdens revelations about mass surveillance occasioned, has been a defining force in reshaping the information-security dialogue between public and private sectors. Recent years have seen governments in Australia and elsewhere moving to formalise their cybersecurity defences, as well as the rapid maturation of a security community that has tapped novel technologies to respond to the growth in low and slow infiltrations used by malicious insider like Snowden. Because they are familiar with installed defences, such insiders have proven uniquely able to avoid tripping conventional alarms. And this, says Inglis, has laid out the extent of the problem facing companies and government agencies alike. Weve got to move from episodic defence at choke points, to a continuous understanding of whats happening on these networks such that we can detect anomalies or bad activities the first time it happens, he explains. Its no longer good enough to react well; you have to anticipate well. Inglis comments mirror those of Australian government cybersecurity advisor Alistair MacGibbon, who has frequently and publicly called for change in our collective approach to security. Security vendors have been on the same page, with analysts warning years ago that Australian companies are thinking reactively more than in an agile way. This requires engagement from the business yet even as hackers get more professional about their approach to breaching security, some CSOs had struggled to make the same progress in getting the executive support they need. This had led many companies into a similar situation as the one that Inglis and his peers faced at the NSA where companies find themselves compromised and trying after the fact to figure out where they had gone wrong. With Australian businesses recently ranked as the most likely in the world to deploy data loss prevention tools after a breach rather than before one its a lesson that many companies will continue to learn the hard way. Inglis, for one, has put his money on user entity behavioural analytics (UEBA) technology that watches users online behaviour on an ongoing basis, quietly searching for behavioural anomalies that might indicate suspicious behaviour by otherwise-trusted users. Shortly after leaving the NSA, Inglis joined the advisory board of UEBA vendor Securonix, which this month opened shop in Australia to tap into a land rush for ANZ businesses that are shoring up their defences in anticipation of a perfect storm of new legislation and governance requirements they will face in 2018 and beyond. UEBA is just as important in catching outsiders as it is in catching Snowden-like insiders. Outsiders Holy Grail is to become someone or something that has privileges inside the system, Inglis said. Youre looking for a baseline that says that there is actually a different entity behind this privilege, and you want to catch that to defend the integrity and reputation of the person whose privileges have been stolen. Once that theft happens, the damage can be considerable and fast. We have put more and more power into the hands of fewer individuals, Inglis said. Computers allow you to have much higher leverage based on a single person; the scope and scale attendant to what somebody can do is now much bigger. And your ability to catch it in time to restore things to good order easily, is much harder. Varying narratives about Snowdens legacy years later, he remains a traitor to some and a hero to others shouldnt distract from the importance of embracing new technologies to stop what he did, Inglis said, arguing that everything should be on the table at this point. Despite his call for stronger government oversight, Inglis called for a level-headed approach to the current controversy around the governments plans to force software giants to figure out a way to provide access to otherwise inaccessible communications. While mass brute-force decryption remains mathematically challenging and the details of how such access might be provided remain sketchy, Inglis said its important to remember that the government is effectively fighting its own insider threat. And while discussion about the mechanisms of such a policy are still in early days, he sees them in large part as an extension of long-standing policy around police access to potential evidence of criminal activity. The Australian governments push to gain access to secure private messaging was an example of the type of considerations that had to be weighed given the current security climate, Inglis said. The question is whether we can take advantage of the capabilities that are there under the rule of law as it has existed for time immemorial, he explained. The question now is how do we not force ourselves into a place to choose between one and the other, he said, but to ask the right policy questions and come up with the right framework. The further question, he continued, is whether you want to begin to alter technology trends so you can continue to have a collective defence with secure domestic and national security and individual rights? The government is held accountable by its citizens to deliver those. Its a very thoughtful question. Error: Please check your email address. Tags cybersecurity adviser Alistair MacGibbonNational Security AgencyEdward SnowdenPetyaprotecting citizensWannaCryChris Inglismalware attacks

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August 8, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Booz Allen Hamilton’s criminal probe could drag on for years, CEO says – Washington Post

The Department of Justices probe into the billing practices at Booz Allen Hamilton is unlikely to wrap up quickly, the McLean government contracting firms chief executive told analysts Monday. Horacio Rozanski said the criminal investigation could take years to resolve. The timeline for resolution remains uncertain, but given the complexity of cost accounting issues and the fact that we are still in the early stages of the investigation, we believe it is more likely to be years than months, Rozanksi said in a call with investors. The company disclosed on June 15 that it is under federal investigation for the way it handled certain elements of the companys cost accounting and indirect cost charging practices, but has offered little information on the scope of the inquiry or what prompted it. Indirect costs are typically items like general administrative expenses or other overhead that may or may not be allowed under a government contract. Rozanski emphasized Tuesday that his company is cooperating with the investigation and no charges have yet been brought. He said it is too early to estimate how much the company would spend on legal expenses, and he said the company had not yet set aside funds to deal with the matter. The lack of clarity has investors worried. The investigation could be [related to] two accounts out of 10,000 or something widespread that is in all of them. We just dont know, said Brian Ruttenbur, an analyst with Drexel Hamilton Ruttenbur said the firms stock price has been trading about 5 percent below other firms in its industry, and will likely continue to do so until the issue is resolved. The June 15 revelation that the firm is under criminal investigation was enough to cause the firms stock price to drop by 17.8 percent the following day, erasing most of the stocks post-election gains. The probe comes as the company is still smarting from allegations that employees Edward Snowden and Harold Martin III were involved in national security leaks. Rozanski insisted Tuesday that the company has so far seen no impact from the investigation on the companys ability to bid on new contracts or service old ones. Unless its something like fraud, I dont think this would hurt their business per say, said Cai Von-Rumohr, an analyst with Cowen investment bank. It certainly didnt in the first quarter [of 2017]; their bookings were sensational. If history is any guide, the financial pain is likely to be small. An analysis of seven similar cases conducted by Cowen investment bank found the firms typically settled for less than $9 million. Thats a relatively small sum for a company as large as Booz Allen, which takes in almost $5.5 billion each year.

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Columbia University Announces New, $100000 Data Journalism Program as Industry Embraces Data – MediaFile

One of the nations premiere journalism schools, Columbia University, just announced the creation of a new Master of Science in Data Journalism degree. The degree can be earned in a 12-month, three-semester program, for an estimated cost of $106,000, according to the university. In a press release announcing the new degree, Dean Steve Coll said, For journalists to carry out their function as watchdogs on power, storytellers and sifters of the truth, they increasingly must understand how to interrogate data and computer code. Colls words bring to mind some of the biggest stories from recent years, including the Panama Papers, Hillary Clintons leaked emails and the Edward Snowden leaks. While Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he wants to crack down on leaks coming from the White House, data leaks do not seem to be disappearing from the public eye anytime soon. This June, voter files from Republican data firm Deep Root Analytics were accidentally leaked online. Data leaks are becoming increasingly commonplace; media giant HBO was the victim of a hack just this week. Few disagree with Columbia Journalism Schools conclusion that, Journalists who understand data and computation will be able to do their jobs more effectively in a world ever more reliant on complicated streams of information. However, some journalists took to Twitter to criticize the programs price tag. Poynters Benjamin Mullin, in his article about the new degree, asked the relevant question: But is $100,000 really realistic for journalism students who are graduating into a shrinking industry where the median pay is $38,870 per year? Derek Willis, a data journalist for ProPublica, seemed to defend the programs price tag in a series of tweets. While he acknowledged that there could be cheaper and more efficient routes, he said that journalism education should be producing more specialists (subject or skill) than generalists. How we teach and value data journalism concerns the entire industry and journalism education, said Willis in an interview with MediaFile. Data journalism degrees are a new phenomenon in the United States. Only a few schools have graduate programs that incorporate data and journalism Stanford Universitys Graduate Degree in Journalism also focuses on data, and the UC Berkeley New Media Program has a significant data component. In Europe, these programs are also relatively new. King Juan Carlos University in Madrid started its Data Journalism program back in 2012. Cardiff University, as well as several other United Kingdom schools, offer programs in data journalism. Despite this progress, the 2017 Global Data Journalism survey found that Most data journalists have a formal education in communication and journalism. A significantly smaller number have university level education in data and computer related disciplines. Whether it be investigative data journalism like the Panama Papers reporting, political data journalism like the work that FiveThirtyEight and The Upshot put out during the 2016 presidential campaign, or even reporting on data leaks data journalism has become a mainstay in newsrooms across the board. Back in 2015, Columbia Journalism Schools Emily Bell was featured on a panel at the Paley Center for Media titled The Next Big Thing in Journalism: Follow the Data. At the event, she said: We might continue to be great school for writers but, unless we put data with that, we will not be a very great school for very long. As data becomes an increasingly integral part of both everyday life and journalism, it may become an expectation that journalists have a background working with data. So while it may be too early to evaluate Columbias new degree and its cost, programs that specialize in data journalism may become more commonand perhaps cheaperas the news industry shifts towards a data-first mindset.

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August 7, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Subpoena threats for news organizations real, but not new – Constitution Daily (blog)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that the Justice Department is looking at an expanded policy to subpoena more news organizations who publish classified information. So how would this affect journalists First Amendment rights? “I’ve listened to our career investigators, FBI agents and others, and of prosecutors about how to most successfully investigate and prosecute these matters,” said Sessions on Friday. “At their suggestion, one of the things we are doing is reviewing policies for effecting media subpoenas.” Sessions specifically pointed to the Washington Posts publication of two telephone conversation transcripts between President Donald Trump and other world leaders. Trump also have criticized the Post and the New York Times for recent reports that contained information from government intelligence sources about the Russia election investigation. In prior presidential administrations, the federal government has more often gone after people who leaked the information to the press and not the outlets that published it. The legal protections for publishers who release classified information, but who arent directly involved in illegally obtaining the same information, are based on a series of Supreme Court decisions. In New York Times v. United States (1971), the Court in a 6-3 decision ruled that the First Amendment protected the newspapers right to publish the Pentagon Papers, government documents about the Vietnam War illegally obtained by a private individual and published in the New York Times and Washington Post. To find that the President has ‘inherent power’ to halt the publication of news … would wipe out the First Amendment and destroy the fundamental liberty and security of the very people the Government hopes to make ‘secure, said Justice Hugo Black. The word ‘security’ is a broad, vague generality whose contours should not be invoked to abrogate the fundamental law embodied in the First Amendment. However, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press after illegally obtaining them, was charged with six counts of espionage, six for theft, and one for conspiracy. Although his prosecution ultimately ended in a mistrial due to government misconduct, it was clear that Court didnt believe the First Amendment excused illegal activity, even if it furthered a journalistic interest. In another case, the Court said in Bartnicki v. Vopper (2001) that a radio commentator who broadcast a phone conversation illegally obtained by another person was protected by the First Amendment. The phone conversation was about public school union negotiations and potential violence related to them. Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said, a stranger’s illegal conduct does not suffice to remove the First Amendment shield from speech about a matter of public concern. While the press may enjoy a broad protection against prosecution for publishing third-party content, the people who are found to be the leakers dont. For example, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was charged with two crimes under the Espionage Act for stealing classified information and passing it on to publishers. Today, he is staying in Russia living in virtual exile. In 2013, former Army private Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years for giving more than 700,000 documents to Wikileaks. (Mannings sentence was later commuted by President Barack Obama.) Reporters who also publish classified information may also be compelled by a court to reveal their sources based on the location of the court action, especially if the case is in the federal court system. In the Supreme Courts Branzburg v. Hayes decision from 1972, the Court found that the First Amendment does not relieve a newspaper reporter of the obligation that all citizens have to respond to a grand jury subpoena and answer questions relevant to a criminal investigation, and therefore the Amendment does not afford him a constitutional testimonial privilege for an agreement he makes to conceal facts relevant to a grand jury’s investigation of a crime or to conceal the criminal conduct of his source or evidence. The Branzburg decision did allow for states to pass their own shield laws to protect reporters from revealing sources; a federal shield law doesnt exist. Justice Byron White wrote the majority opinion in the 5-4 Branzburg decision, but it was a concurring opinion from Justice Lewis Powell that led to a greater movement toward state shield laws. Powell believed courts should balance the governments need for information with a journalists right to protect sources. In a high-profile case, former New York Times reporter Judith Miller spent about three months in jail in 2005 after she refused to reveal a source of a White House leak and was found in contempt by a federal judge. And journalists who actively take part in an illegal activity to acquire information dont usually enjoy legal protections. In 1999, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found that ABC reporters who applied for jobs at a grocery chain to investigate food safety violations were guilty of trespassing. The Fourth Circuit said that even though the publication of the story was in the public interest, the press has no special immunity from the application of general laws. So while the federal government does issue subpoenas to journalists, they are infrequent. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, using Freedom of Information requests, found out they averaged nine per year between 2001 and 2010, and only two of the 21 subpoenas issued between 2007 and 2010 involved disclosing confidential sources. Scott Bomboy is editor in chief of the National Constitution Center. Filed Under: First Amendment

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August 7, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden: Russian crackdown on web freedom is ‘violation of human rights’ – DeathRattleSports.com

Surveillance expert Edward Snowden, the former US National Security Agency (NSA) analyst turned leaker, has spoken out about the recent spike in internet censorship across Russia and China, saying the incoming ban of VPNs and proxies is a violation of human rights. On Sunday 30 July, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a law which said any technology that could be used to access blacklisted websites including virtual private networks and online anonymisation software will be completely outlawed from 1 November 2017. Separate legislation will require all messaging applications in the country to be able to identify users through phone numbers after 1 January next year. Moscow officials argued that the unprecedented move was designed to block access to illegal content and not to restrict the web for law abiding citizens. Not everyone agreed. Banning the unauthorised use of basic internet security tools makes Russia both less safe and less free. This is a tragedy of policy, Snowden commented on 30 July, via Twitter. The NSA whistleblower (or criminal leaker, to some) currently lives in Russia with his partner after being granted asylum in 2013. He continued: If the next generation is to enjoy the online liberties ours did, innocuous traffic must become truly indistinguishable from the sensitive. Whether enacted by China, Russia, or anyone else, we must be clear this is not a reasonable regulation but a violation of human rights. The internet clampdown has been teased for months. In late April, it emerged that Russias media watchdog was drafting the legislation to completely prohibit the use of anonymising software. Firms that fail to abide by the rules would face hefty financial penalties, reports suggested. And it is now clear the plans were not limited to Russia, with Chinese authorities also talking up moves to bolster its Great Firewall, the state censorship apparatus. In July 2017, Bloomberg reported that access to VPNs would be banned in China from February next year. VPNs, and web browsing software such as Tor, are able to circumvent censorship and hide identities in a way that makes it difficult for authorities to track the locations of users. In the post-Snowden world, as state-backed spying hit the public consciousness, use of such tools rocketed. Snowden, who could risk biting the hand that feeds by criticising the Russian state, warned: For [those]working for major firms: note well this spread in China and Russia within the same week. Dont sleep on the trend. US tech giants have, so far, complied with the bans. Banning the unauthorized use of basic internet security tools makes Russia both less safe and less free. This is a tragedy of policy.

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August 5, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Obama’s ‘War on Leakers’ Was More Aggressive Than Trump’s So Far – Newsweek

The U.S. Justice Department has significantly ramped up its number of leak investigations, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Friday, more than tripling themcompared with the past three years numbers combined. Thestatement likely came much to the glee of President Donald Trump. But it was his predecessor, Barack Obama, who charted a course for Trump when it came to leak crackdowns. Perhaps answering his bosss cries for investigations, Sessions said that at least four people, three of whose cases had not been reported on as of Friday, have already been charged with unlawfully disclosing classified material or with concealing contacts with foreign intelligence officers. He also said the Justice Departmenthad seen a boom in criminal referrals for probes into intelligence agency leaks. Daily Emails and Alerts – Get the best of Newsweek delivered to your inbox Referrals for investigations of classified leaks to the Department of Justice from our intelligence agencies have exploded, Sessions said. In the first six months of this administration, DOJ has already received nearly as many criminal referrals involving unauthorized disclosures of classified information as we received in the last three years combined. To date, only Reality Winner, a 25-year-old federal government contractor accused ofleaking classified information to The Intercept, is known to be facing prosecution. Her trial is set to begin in October. Sessionss DOJ still has to play catch-up to reach the number of leak investigations from Obamas time. DOJ prosecutors under the Obama administration pursued nine leak cases, and in May 2013 it was disclosed that federal investigators had surreptitiously seized two months worth of phones records from Associated Press reporters and editors, including home phones and cellphones, The New York Times reported. Later in 2013, a scathing report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)said the Obama administrations war on leaks had been the worst of its kind since the days of Richard Nixon, who engaged in a cover-up that eventually led to his resignation in 1974. At the time of the CPJs report, Obamas team had used the Espionage Act, passed in 1917, to kick-start eight prosecutions involving allegations of leakedclassified information, including those against Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. Manning was later granted clemency by Obama, before he left office earlier this year, while Snowden remains in exile in Russia. Though CPJs report did show that the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington set off a major expansion of information deemed to be classifiedstarting with the administration of President George W. BushObamas eight prosecutions far outranked the three Espionage Act prosecutions under every other president before him. In May 2016, Obama said that many of the cases prosecuted during his time in office actually were holdovers, but according to Politico that proved to be untrue. Many of the cases that are often lumped into, you know, my ledger, essentially were cases that were brought before we came into office, Obama said to a college newspaper. Some of them are serious, where you had purposeful leaks of information that could harm or threaten operations or individuals who were in the field involved with really sensitive national security issues. Politico found that of the eight cases, three were from the Bush administration that preceded Obama. One of those cases involved New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, who in 2005 revealed the National Security Agencys domestic and clandestine surveillance program. Risen also wrote about a CIA operation to disrupt Irans nuclear program in a book published in 2006. Under Obama, the DOJ and Attorney General Eric Holder attempted to force Risen to testify and reveal his source of the classified information. In December, Risen penned an op-ed forthe Times,and its closing paragraph now seems almost prophetic: Press freedom advocates already fear that under Senator Jeff Sessions, Mr. Trumps choice to be attorney general, the Justice Department will pursue journalists and their sources at least as aggressively as Mr. Obama did.

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August 5, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden: Russian crackdown on web freedom is ‘violation of human rights’ – International Business Times UK

Surveillance expert Edward Snowden, the former US National Security Agency (NSA) analyst turned leaker, has spoken out about the recent spike in internet censorship across Russia and China, saying the incoming ban of VPNs and proxies is a “violation of human rights”. On Sunday 30 July, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a law which said any technology that could be used to access blacklisted websites including virtual private networks and online anonymisation software will be completely outlawed from 1 November 2017. Separate legislation will require all messaging applications in the country to be able to identify users through phone numbers after 1 January next year. Moscow officials argued that the unprecedented move was designed to block access to illegal content and not to restrict the web for law abiding citizens. Not everyone agreed. “Banning the ‘unauthorised’ use of basic internet security tools makes Russia both less safe and less free. This is a tragedy of policy,” Snowden commented on 30 July, via Twitter. The NSA whistleblower (or criminal leaker, to some) currently lives in Russia with his partner after being granted asylum in 2013. He continued: “If the next generation is to enjoy the online liberties ours did, innocuous traffic must become truly indistinguishable from the sensitive. “Whether enacted by China, Russia, or anyone else, we must be clear this is not a reasonable ‘regulation’ but a violation of human rights.” The internet clampdown has been teased for months. In late April, it emerged that Russia’s media watchdog was drafting the legislation to “completely prohibit” the use of anonymising software. Firms that fail to abide by the rules would face hefty financial penalties, reports suggested. And it is now clear the plans were not limited to Russia, with Chinese authorities also talking up moves to bolster its Great Firewall, the state censorship apparatus. In July 2017, Bloomberg reported that access to VPNs would be banned in China from February next year. VPNs, and web browsing software such as Tor, are able to circumvent censorship and hide identities in a way that makes it difficult for authorities to track the locations of users. In the post-Snowden world, as state-backed spying hit the public consciousness, use of such tools rocketed. Snowden, who could risk biting the hand that feeds by criticising the Russian state, warned: “For [those] working for major firms: note well this spread in China and Russia within the same week. Don’t sleep on the trend.” US tech giants have, so far, complied with the bans. Read more

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August 4, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Former National Security Agency Deputy Director John Inglis warns on data collection – NEWS.com.au

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor turned whistleblower, said Thursday that he saw both presidential candidates as authoritarian. Photo: Getty Images A FORMER US security chief, who investigated NSA leaker Edward Snowden, says Australians should be alarmed by unchecked collection of personal information. Picture: HBO A FORMER leading US security chief, who oversaw the investigation into NSA leaker Edward Snowden, has delivered a shocking warning over the unchecked collection of personal information by the private sector. In an address to the National Press club today, former Deputy Director of Americans National Security Agency John Inglis said Australians should be more concerned about the collection of their data by private business than by the government. I think we should never take our eye off the government, make sure we constrain them to the purpose for which they defined. But the private sector is running unchecked in this regard, said Mr Inglis who was with the NSA from 2006 to 2014. Former Deputy Director of the U.S. National Security Agency John Inglis talks at the National Press Club in Canberra. Picture: AAPSource:AAP Thats by design, you sign user agreements, you willingly give up the data, but the aggregation of that has stunning consequences. Theres very few secrets about your life, where you have been, what you have done. Im not suggesting that is used maliciously but its a tremendous capability that can be used for good or evil. You as a citizen may not care about the commercial efficiencies that drive from having all that information in the hands of someone who can put the right advertisement, the right product in front of you, you may care about your privacy you want greater control on that. Mr Inglis said limits needed to be put on the actions of private enterprise. We need to have some discussion about what are the appropriate standards for what information can being a graded and aggregated and what degree of accountability should be effected upon those who aggregate it? Edward Snowden leaked classified information from the NSA. Picture: HBOSource:Supplied Im sure they will occasion a great hue and cry about the suppression of free action, perhaps liberty on the part of corporations. We trying to align the rights of individuals against the rights of groups of individuals. Its not taken in a way that fully addresses the implications of where were in the 21st century. Is privacy dead? I dont think so. I think you can to some agree, modulate your own behaviour. You dont have to have a Facebook account, you dont need various social media accounts. But its harder and harder. This is where government can assist. It shouldnt do so in a wet blanket way, but establishing the venue and the dialogue by which we can consider the matter and come to rational conclusions.

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August 3, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Phone Companies Introduce Non-Removable Batteries After Edward Snowden Warning – Sputnik International

In 2014 US whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the National Security Agency and GCHQ could turn on smartphones remotely, even when they were switched off. Now, three years later, several smartphone manufacturers have started introducing non-removable batteries. Is it a coincidence? In June 2013, Snowden revealed the NSA was collecting the phone records ofmillions ofVerizon customers inthe US using a secret court order, and had also tapped the phones ofdozens ofworld leaders, including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. Snowden was threatened withprosecution inthe US, and fled toRussia, where he was granted asylum two years later. The followingyear he gave an interview inwhich he explained how the NSA, and Britain’s GCHQ, had the capability touse smartphones likebugs ina room. They were able toswitch onpeople’s phones and listen tothem remotely withoutthem being aware, he said. “They can absolutely turn them onwith the power turned offto the device,” Snowden said. He said the intelligence agencies could gain access toa handset bysending it an encrypted text message and could even use the phone’s camera withoutthe owner’s knowledge. The Washington Post had reported the NSA had introduced this feature tohelp US forces hunting al-Qaeda insurgents inIraq. Earlier this year,WikiLeaks exposed a CIA program aimed athacking computers, mobile phones and even smart TVs fromcompanies likeApple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung, using techniques users could neither detect nor disable byresetting their devices. After Snowden’s little revelation some people who were extremely concerned aboutgovernment surveillance including criminals and terrorists began removing the batteries entirely fromtheir devices. Now a number ofsmartphones, likethe Samsung A5, have come onthe market inthe UK, US and elsewhere, which have batteries which cannot be removed. Some conspiracy theorists might jump tothe conclusion that they have been pressured bythe intelligence agencies toensure smartphones can always be spied on. “Seemingly the main reason is waterproofing, butthey have already achieved that witha removable battery inthe S5,” Tonny Be, a technology expert, told Sputnik. “The heads ofGoogle and several other phone/tech manufacturers have been documented inthe media ashaving visited the White House duringthe Obama era,” he told Sputnik. “Advancement ofnon-removable batteries started toinvade the mobile market coincidence or plan tokeep everyone onthe grid while milking money outof them withneutered devices while keeping those same devices ‘always on’ tobe spied uponby the powers that be?” Mr. Be said. “You decide: conspiracy theory lunacy or nice, complete, neatly-wrapped package ofevidence being touted ascoincidence?” he added. “I figure if the powers that be ever admit toit being a collective effort that was forced uponmanufacturers or possibly agreed uponto be tactically put inplay, they’ll spin it inas a preventive terrorist measure,” Mr. Be concluded.

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