Tag Archives: government

How Lavabit Melted Down

From the New Yorker: How Lavabit Melted Down.

If you care at all about privacy rights, consider contributing to Lavabit’s legal defence fund


NSA Surveillance: How To Stay Secure

NSA Surveillance: How To Stay Secure:

4) Be suspicious of commercial encryption software, especially from large vendors. My guess is that most encryption products from large US companies have NSA-friendly back doors, and many foreign ones probably do as well. It’s prudent to assume that foreign products also have foreign-installed backdoors. Closed-source software is easier for the NSA to backdoor than open-source software. Systems relying on master secrets are vulnerable to the NSA, through either legal or more clandestine means.

It’s pretty sad that we have to even consider measures like this. We are truly living in Orwell’s 1984. I’m so angry and completely fed up with my government. In the words of Michael Dell, I think we ought to shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.

Running Android? Your Phone And The FBI Are Watching You

Stories like this make me so proud to be an American!

According to Jennifer Valentino-Devries and Danny Yadron of the Wall Street Journal the FBI is capable of, and in fact is actively engaged in turning on the microphone of phones running Google’s Android.

The FBI develops some hacking tools internally and purchases others from the private sector. With such technology, the bureau can remotely activate the microphones in phones running Google Inc.’s Android software to record conversations, one former U.S. official said. It can do the same to microphones in laptops without the user knowing, the person said. Google declined to comment.

They can do this with computer cameras as well:

Earlier this year, a federal warrant application in a Texas identity-theft case sought to use software to extract files and covertly take photos using a computer’s camera, according to court documents. The judge denied the application, saying, among other things, that he wanted more information on how data collected from the computer would be minimized to remove information on innocent people.

Currently, it seems law enforcement still needs to obtain a warrant for this type of surveillance but in light of the NSA’s domestic surveillance program and our governments willingness to allow this, it’s likely only a matter of time until they aren’t necessary.

Thanks Google (don’t be evil)! Glad I use only Apple products.

The NSA Is Watching Us All, All The Time

Q: Washington-based foreign affairs analyst Steve Clemons said he overheard at the capital’s Dulles airport four men discussing an intelligence conference they had just attended. Speaking about the leaks, one of them said, according to Clemons, that both the reporter and leaker should be “disappeared”. How do you feel about that?

A: “Someone responding to the story said ‘real spies do not speak like that’. Well, I am a spy and that is how they talk. Whenever we had a debate in the office on how to handle crimes, they do not defend due process – they defend decisive action. They say it is better to kick someone out of a plane than let these people have a day in court. It is an authoritarian mindset in general.”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past week you’ve no doubt heard of PRISM and the data gathering (spying) the United States Government has been doing on it’s citizens. I’ve never really been afraid of my government but I am today. The NSA needs to be shut down. Completely. I know that sounds radical, and it’s totally unrealistic but that’s the only way we can be sure that this type of Orwellian surveillance doesn’t occur, at least until the next big intelligence agency comes along and in typical government overreach picks up the baton under the guise of keeping us safe.

There appears to be no congressional oversight and the agency operates autonomously. If, as an American, that doesn’t scare you, there is something deeply wrong with you and you should be working for the NSA.

I’m incredibly disappointed in Barak Obama. I know this started under Bush but Obama apparently has chosen to not to curb what the NSA is doing and it appears as if he’s actually expanded the project.

Read The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald’s story about Edward Snowden and this interview and you’ll sleep a little less comfortable tonight knowing your government is watching you.