PRISM Articles

As NSA scandal deepens, American trust weakens

  • 16/08/2013 at 18:56 by It's a Gadget Staff
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WiretappingAs is so often the case these days, yet more details have been leaked by Edward Snowden about the National Security Agency’s surveillance efforts. Only this time, it was something that we had already suspected: they regularly break their own rules. The lack of shock from the American public is proof that the average citizen now holds no trust at all in the government tasked with protecting them.

There are three areas where the NSA is supposed to be overseen. The first is Congress, the second is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Administration (FISA), and the third is the Executive branch of government which includes the White House. But a story broken by the Washington Post shows that there is next to no oversight from any of these sources.

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LavaBit and Silent Circle email clients shut down to prevent further problems

  • 09/08/2013 at 20:35 by It's a Gadget Staff
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Lavabit Silent CircleAfter ten years as an alternative email client that didn’t scan user information and respected privacy above all else, LavaBit is shutting down. The reason? Because the Federal government are allegedly attempting to push the Texas based company to cooperate in the case against Edward Snowden.

Snowden used LavaBit as an email client for sending an invitation to journalists and activists to meet him in a Moscow airport in July for a briefing.

Founder Ladar Levison posted a message on the LavaBit website this morning claiming to have been ‘soul searching’. He knew that he would either have to cooperate in what he says is being “complicit in crimes against the American people”, or else walk away from a project a decade in the running.

He has chosen the second option.

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New details on XKeyscore tool shows NSA’s alarming reach

  • 31/07/2013 at 18:33 by It's a Gadget Staff
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PrivacyIf you weren’t already paranoid enough, new information has been released from the Edward Snowden leaks. This time about a tool called XKeyscore, a program that by the National Security Agency’s own admission gives them access to “nearly everything a user does on the internet”.

Remember when Snowden claimed he could wiretap anyone from his desk, just using a personal email? Then the NSA came out and said that was a total lie and laughable because no one has that kind of far reaching technology at their disposal? Today, we get confirmation about what the whistleblower was referencing.

XKeyscore is basically a data collector that searches through a huge collection of information gathered from computer networks.

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Secret files detail Microsoft’s assistance in PRISM program

Tech EyeWhile there has been a lot of speculation about just how much technology companies were contributing to government surveillance as part of PRISM, Microsoft has denied any real violations for customers. For awhile they even denied having knowledge that the program existed. But now details have emerged thanks to secret files that paint a very different picture.

The files, which were part of the collection of top secret information leaked by former NSA employee Edward Snowden, show that Microsoft was doing more than submitting to metadata requests. They were going out of their way to work with the government agency and giving them access to huge amounts of information.

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MIT tool shows why metadata is really a big deal

Immersion GmailMeta-data contains a great deal of information, and when gathered together it forms a startlingly clear picture of the person it comes from. A point that Professor César Hidalgo and graduate students Daniel Smilkov and Deepak Jagdish of MIT are trying to get across.

They have created a new program called Immersion. It works by signing you into your Gmail account and collecting only the meta-data from your account usage history. From there you can get a picture of your emailing habits from that single account, and you will be shocked at what you see.

According to the three creators, there are four purposes to the program: self-reflection, artistic representation, privacy revelations and the ability to develop a strategy in your communications on a professional level.

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Apple is the latest to release NSA PRISM details

  • 17/06/2013 at 19:56 by It's a Gadget Staff
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Apple LogoWe have been following the NSA scandal over PRISM, including the denial from various companies about direct involvement. Now, Apple is officially releasing some details about the information requested as part of the program. However, they still deny any knowledge of the PRISM program itself.

In a public release on their website today, Apple said that they have been complying with agency requests from various agencies as they were required to do. This includes the usual law enforcement petitions that make up the bulk of what they have received, for missing children and persons, robberies, criminal cases and other needs from both state and federal legal organizations.

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PRISM gives NSA, FBI partial access to citizen information

  • 07/06/2013 at 22:50 by It's a Gadget Staff
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Privacy ConcernThe Internet has exploded with activity this morning, after dual articles were released by the Guardian and The Washington Post about a secret government project called PRISM. It has given official agencies like the FBI and NSA unprecedented access to user information from various tech companies, making it the largest surveillance project involving the web to date in the US and UK.

Both countries have apparently been running their own version of PRISM. It monitors emails, chat logs, videos, VOIP, photos, attachments, file transfers, stored data (including cloud storage), video conferences, notifications of all activity including logins, social networking profiles and accounts, and “special requests” that are not otherwise specified.

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