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13 June 2013
The head of the National Security Agency defended his agency's broad electronic surveillance programs Wednesday, saying that they have helped thwart dozens of terrorist attacks and that their recent public disclosure has done "great harm" to the nation's security.
Revelations about boundless spying by the National Security Agency and other US agencies on the electronic communications of US and non-US citizens are rippling international politics and will be a surprise topic at the upcoming Group of 8 summit in Dublin. But the more savvy technical community has been slow to react. There is some speculation about the technical solutions used and even less call for action. For many, quite obviously, the state surveillance does come as a surprise because of its scope.
How Google Transfers Data To NSA (Wall Street Journal)
How does Google hand over data to the government? By old-fashioned secure "file transfer protocol," or FTP. And sometimes even by hand.
A former Google employee turned whistleblower, whose evidence is crucial to a parliamentary report released on Thursday into the search engine's tax affairs, has explained that his decision to speak out was rooted in his Christian beliefs.
British lawmakers described Google's tax affairs as "contrived" in a report released on Thursday and called on the UK tax authority to vigorously investigate whether the company was acting within the law.
If Internet traffic is going to triple over the next five years, as Cisco predicts, we're gonna need a bigger boat.
Europeans have basic digital networks and services, but are missing out on the main current and future benefits of the digital revolution, because of problems in Europe's telecoms and wider digital markets, according to the Commission's annual Digital Agenda Scoreboard published today. The Commission will later this year adopt proposals for concrete measures in response to a European Council request to create a Single Telecoms Market, in order to address the problems confirmed in today's data.
12 June 2013
E.U. Official Pushes U.S. to Explain Its Surveillance (New York Times)
Amid a growing outcry over American snooping on foreigners that threatens to cloud European-U.S. trade talks and President Barack Obama's visit to Berlin, the European Union's top justice official has demanded in unusually sharp terms that the United States reveal what its intelligence is doing with personal information of Europeans gathered under the Prism surveillance program revealed last week.
N.S.A. Disclosures Put Awkward Light on Previous Denials (New York Times)
For years, intelligence officials have tried to debunk what they called a popular myth about the National Security Agency: that its electronic net routinely sweeps up information about millions of Americans. In speeches and Congressional testimony, they have suggested that the agency's immense power is focused exclusively on terrorists and other foreign targets, and that it does not invade Americans' privacy.
Google and Facebook have called for the US authorities to allow them to fully disclose the number of secret requests they receive to hand over users' data.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of a U.S. National Security Agency surveillance program targeting customers of Verizon Communications.
Prism Spying 'Attacks Basic Civil Rights' (Der Spiegel)
The world has been scandalized to learn about Prism, the broad data surveillance program used by the US at home and abroad. German commentators say that both Berlin and Brussels must defend Europe from this invasion of privacy.
Understanding the New Frontier: Internet Governance Trade-Offs by Andrew Reddie, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program (Council on Foreign Relations)
The nation could be forgiven its current case of technological whiplash. Last week it learned that the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had ordered Verizon to collect all of its customers' data between January and April of this year. Then came Ed Snowden's claims of the massive breadth of the NSA's PRISM program, and the news that Microsoft has, along with the FBI, neutralized over ten thousand botnets in "Operation Citadel." These revelations suggested that the boundaries between privacy and the surveillance state had shifted fundamentally, with profound legal, security, and social ramifications.
Businesses should evaluate their data storage and outsourcing arrangements in the wake of reports about US and UK surveillance methods, but patchy details make decision making difficult.
Schoolchildren at risk of online activity being tracked (The Guardian)
Schoolchildren are at risk of having their online activity tracked and monitored for targeted advertising by internet firms through free cloud based education services.
The .africa bid by ZA Central Registry received a boost this week when a controversial rival application from DotConnectAfrica (DCA) was rejected by the Governmental Advisory Committee, with DCA being invited to withdraw its application, reports MyBroadband.co.za.
11 June 2013
Barack Obama was facing a mounting domestic and international backlash against US surveillance operations on Monday as his administration struggled to contain one of the most explosive national security leaks in US history.
Internet users who are suspected of illegally downloading copyrighted material will not be sent warning letters about their behaviour until the second half of 2015 at the earliest, the Government has confirmed.
Consumers worried about their internet privacy in the wake of the online snooping revelations have the option of using some alternatives to the likes of Google and can try to use more secure forms of communication - if, that is, individuals believe maintaining their online security is worth it.
One-third of Americans now own a tablet, (Computerworld)
A third of American adults now own a tablet computer, double the number of a year ago, the Pew Research Center said Monday.
Pakistan threatens Google with ban (Times of India)
Pakistan's new IT minister has warned that Google could be blocked in the country if the company fails to remove blasphemous and objectionable material from its video-sharing website YouTube.
The European commission has raised concerns directly with the US administration about the threat posed to the privacy of EU citizens from the sort of data monitoring highlighted by the leaking of NSA documents to the Guardian by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The American intelligence director and the White House have finally confirmed what insiders have long known: The Obama administration is spying on the entire world. Politicians in Germany are demanding answers.
NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal (Information Week)
Has the National Security Agency been illegally spying on Americans? The Guardian newspaper in Britain Thursday published a top-secret document, dated April 2013, outlining an information-sharing program -- code-named PRISM -- that counts seven of the country's biggest technology giants as participants, including Apple, Facebook and Google.
Google. Apple. Facebook. Microsoft: they are the brands that want the world to trust them with personal information, emails, photos, documents - yet they are now facing a battle to maintain that trust after disclosures that the US government was given access to their customers' data online via the Prism programme operated by the NSA.