After the revelations about the surveillance programme Prism, an employee of the US National Security Agency on Sunday revealed that he was the one who leaked details to the press. The newspapers The Washington Post and The Guardian reported on Friday that in addition to recording telephone data, the US government also systematically combed through the user data held by large Internet firms. Such Big Brother behaviour undermines the rule of law, critics comment, and accuse the former beacon of hope Obama of employing Chinese methods.
Following a two-day storm of media headlines and company denials, the director of national intelligence has finally fully entered the fray to release a FAQ setting the record straight on the nature of its PRISM program.
At Techdirt, Mike Masnick has further thoughts on the NYT piece on Prism, in which they try to resolve the contradiction between the NSA and Obama’s admission that Prism exists and the leaked NSA slide deck is real, and the categorical (and eerily similar) denials from the companies involved (as well as Twitter’s glaring absence from the list of cooperating companies):
In the Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill leak a description of another NSA top-secret program, this one codenamed “BOUNDLESSINFORMANT.”
Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old NSA contractor and ex-CIA employee, has revealed that he is behind the series of leaks that have appeared in the Guardian and Washington Post this weekend, which detailed top-secret, over-reaching, and arguably criminal surveillance programs run by America’s spies with the cooperation of the Obama administration.
Forget PRISM, the National Security Agency’s system to help extract data from Google, Facebook, and the like. The more frightening secret program unearthed by the NSA leaks is the gathering and storing of millions of phone records and phone-location information of U.S. citizens.
The source for British newspaper The Guardian’s recent groundbreaking reports on the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices unexpected revealed himself Sunday as Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old Booz Allen Hamilton employee who’s been working at the NSA for four years.
In an unexpected twist to the PRISM scandal, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden came forward to identify himself to the world on Sunday, and further details continue to emerge, including the fact that authorities were already looking into him before any leaks were reported.
87 Months in Prison for Copyright Infringement: Fair Sentence or Utter Madness?Following an investigation carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement?s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assisted by Microsoft and the BSA, a man from Baltimore is just beginning a very long stretch behind bars.
The NSA has a tool that records and analyzes all the flow of data that the spy agency collects around the world. Think of it as a global data-mining software that details exactly how much intelligence, and of what type, has been collected from every country in the world. It’s aptly called “Boundless Informant.”
America is supposed to be a nation governed by principles, which are undergirded by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and carried into law. The discussion about the government and its capture of *our* data should be held on the level of principles.
Not only did the NSA try to keep PRISM, their massive and unconstitutional domestic spying operation, a secret, they are still trying to silence those who seek to draw attention to it. Gawker reports that last night a guy trying to sell tee-shirts with the official PRISM logo on it through Zazzle got a cease and desist letter and his store was shut down.
The idea that US-based Internet companies are not directly supplying information to the US government and its intelligence agencies took a hit today with the release of a new slide detailing the PRISM program by Tom McCarthy on the Guardian: it states directly that direct access of servers exists.
As an activist, a geek, and a privacy scholar, I?ve been watching the NSA scandal unfold with a mixture of curiosity, outrage, and skepticism. I don?t feel as though I have enough information yet to make an informed opinion about exactly what the State is doing or how tech companies are involved, let alone the implications of these procedures. But one thing I do know is that most Americans are going to shrug their shoulders and move on while most of my friends are going to rally for increased transparency, governmental oversight, corporate commitments to resist governmental abuse, and efforts to better inform the public. And although I share all of their values and desires, I also feel the need to reflect on why I think that our activism as it is currently constructed is not going to rally the mainstream.