Stephen E. Arnold: NSA and Google Compete for Internet – We All Lose

Commerce, Corruption, Government, IO Deeds of War, IO Impotency, IO Privacy, IO Secrets
Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold

The NSA and Google Compete for the Internet, and We All Lose

An article posted on Tech Eye titled US Spying is Killing the Internet Claims Google explains the outrage expressed by Google when it was released that the NSA had tapped into their system in order to obtain user information. Google’s security director Richard Salgado warns that the US government’s snooping could eventually lead to a “splinter net” in which governments put up barriers and cause the market to be restricted.

The article explains:

“Salgado warned that the NSA operations led to “a real concern” inside and outside the United States about the role of government and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which decides in secret on legal problems about electronic surveillance efforts.”

But is the lady protesting too much? Google has been accused of its own plans to take over the Internet, as this article titled Google’s Latest Scheme to Control the Internet May Surprise You investigates on Worldcrunch. Google Plus in particular might warrant extra attention. In spite of being considered a failure when likened to Facebook, the article suggests that comparison is faulty. The number of Google Plus members may be small, but more important is Google’s ability to track and store the information we input.

And the money talks:

“Perhaps the proof is in the numbers: Google generated $50 billion in 2012 revenue, $40 billion of it from advertising. And though 2.7 billion Facebook “likes” are being registered every day, its revenue during the same period was just $4 billion.”

So let Google worry about the NSA all they want. Some of us are preoccupied with our paranoia about another company, which the article sums up as a Keanu Reeves style matrix in which we will all stay happily ignorant of our dependence.

Chelsea Kerwin, November 27, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

NATO WATCH: Time for a No-Spy Zone? Or More Realistically, Time for EU/NATO to Discover Open Source Intelligence with Integrity?

Advanced Cyber/IO, Cultural Intelligence, IO Deeds of War, IO Impotency, IO Privacy, IO Secrets, IO Sense-Making, Peace Intelligence

nato watchNATO Watch Comment:

Time to establish a ‘No Spy Zone' in NATO?

By Dr Ian Davis, NATO Watch Director

22 November 2013 Promoting a more transparent and accountable NATO

Disclosure of US intelligence surveillance activities in Germany and other allied countries has aroused angry political and public reaction in those countries. The whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed close technical cooperation and a loose alliance between British, German, French, Spanish and Swedish spy agencies. The German Government in particular has expressed disbelief and fury at the revelations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) monitored Angela Merkel's mobile phone calls. Even the Secretary General of the UN is regarded as fair game by the NSA.

But questions concerning the integrity and professionalism of UK and US intelligence services are nothing new. In March 2003, GCHQ‘whistleblower’ Katharine Gun revealed in a leaked email that the NSA was eavesdropping on UN Security Council diplomats belonging to the group of ‘swing nations’ that were undecided on the question of war against Iraq. The NSA requested the help of its British counterparts at GCHQ to collect information on those diplomats.

Continue reading “NATO WATCH: Time for a No-Spy Zone? Or More Realistically, Time for EU/NATO to Discover Open Source Intelligence with Integrity?”

Stephen J. Arnold: NSA Drives Many to Private Search – Phi Beta Iota: Lacking Code Level Integrity, Privacy is Not an Option

07 Other Atrocities, 11 Society, Corruption, Government, IO Deeds of War, IO Impotency, IO Privacy, Military, Officers Call
Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold

Users Seek Private Search Options After NSA Revelations

This is certainly no surprise. CSO reveals, “People Flock to Anonymizing Services After NSA Snooping Reports.” Writer Grant Gross highlights several anonymous search services that have seen usage soar since certain NSA practices have come to light. DuckDuckGo is on the list, as well as Tor and mobile solution Silent Circle. The brand new Disconnect Search saw over 400,000 searches within four days of its launch. Clearly, many people are beginning to cover their virtual tracks. But is it pointless, after all? The article points out:

Disconnect Search’s FAQ includes information about possible government searches. ‘The reality is the U.S. government may force us to begin logging the search queries of a particular user or group of users,’ the FAQ said. ‘If served with a court order that includes a non-disclosure provision, we may not be able to tell our users about this change for some period of time, possibly forever. And the U.S. government may also have other methods of monitoring user searches which Disconnect Search cannot prevent.’”

Though we now know several prominent firms quietly complied with NSA demands to fork over their records, at least one search service has elected to fold rather than cave. Lavabit made the tough choice to shut down their decade-old organization rather than comply with. . . something. Owner Ladar Levison’s explanation, which is all that is left of the site, laments that he can’t tell us exactly what was demanded of him, but his frustration and ire are apparent in the strongly worded note. He writes:

“I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on–the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise.”

So, there’s that. Not exactly encouraging for fans of privacy. Lavison seems to hold at least a sliver of hope for a favorable verdict as Lavabit takes their fight to court. Is even that too optimistic?

Cynthia Murrell, November 20, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Rickard Falkvinge: Sweden Gives Up Its Integrity

07 Other Atrocities, 11 Society, Corruption, Government, Idiocy, Intelligence (government), IO Privacy
Rickard Falkvinge
Rickard Falkvinge

Swedish Regime To Give Police, Customs, Tax Authorities Realtime Access to Citizens’ Phone, Mail, More

Posted: 19 Nov 2013 10:51 AM PST

Privacy:  The Swedish citizens will get all their phone calls and e-mail traffic wiretapped in real time not just by the Swedish NSA branch, but also by police, customs, the tax authority, and others. These plans were revealed today by the Ny Teknik magazine, sending shockwaves among civil rights activists. This follows a previous law change that gave the Swedish NSA branch, the FRA, realtime access to all Internet traffic that crossed the country borders – effectively wiretapping everybody warrantlessly all the time.

Circumventing the entire legislative process and every democratic shred of oversight, the Swedish Police are demanding voluntary agreements from telecom operators to give the Police and other Swedish authorities direct and real-time access to phone call data, mail traffic, and much more. This is not just the slippery slope into an Orwellian society that civil rights activists have warned about: this is a slippery precipice.

We’re now officially past the point where “national security” (and the the ever-present disgusting child porn/terrorism argument) is used to justify bulk warrantless wiretapping of everybody, all the time. We’ve arrived at the point where the Police justify the complete elimination of entire classes of civil liberties with nothing more than “because it can be done, and we want it”.

The authorities that would get direct real-time access to most communications aren’t just the Police, but also the Customs Office, the Security Police, and the Tax Authority (!!).

A key difference between a functioning democracy and a police state is, that in a functioning democracy, the Police don’t get everything they point at. While the border between the two is arguably a lot of gray area, and subject to a lot of polemic, it can no longer be reasonably stated that police powers are under checks and balances.

According to the Ny Teknik article, followed up by many others in Swedish oldmedia, it’s not just real-time data on phone calls and mail that the Police are demanding. A sample of other things included in the proposed mass surveillance package:

  • How telecom bills are paid – cash, credit, direct deposit. If credit card, which one, and if direct deposit, from which bank account.
  • The subscriber’s PUK code, enabling a police authority to activate the cellphone’s SIM card without the subscriber’s PIN code.

There are hints in the article that many other items may be covered by the realtime wiretapping, referring to a wiretapping standard called ITS27.

The only telecom operator to say a blank never, this is completely unthinkable to the Police demands is the Swedish Tele 2.

The fact that the Swedish regime isn’t immediately firing everybody in the Police demanding this wholesale abolition of civil rights is practically an endorsement of the plans – and one that goes hand in hand with the much-criticized Swedish FRA Law that legalized warrantless bulk wiretapping in the first place.

Berto Jongman: Cyber Security Solutions for the DoD and Intelligence Community

Advanced Cyber/IO, Ethics, IO Privacy, Military
Berto Jongman
Berto Jongman

Cyber Security Solutions for the DoD and Intelligence Community

At first glance, it appears that the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Intelligence Community (IC) have the same cyber security needs as other large organizations in the commercial world. While this is true to a certain extent, the business rules and requirements are significantly different.

The Federal Government, in general, and the DoD/IC are heavily scrutinized and regulated in terms of acquisition policy. The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and the applicable DoD regulations (DFAR) are comprehensive, administrative and largely bureaucratic in an attempt to protect the interests of the American taxpayer – Cyber Security Solutions have been affected by this process.

This administrative approach has had an initial negative impact on cyber security effectiveness with state sponsored and agile criminal groups enjoying repeated success. As a result, many DoD/IC agencies are reevaluating their cyber security requirements with a more solutions-oriented strategy.

DoD and IC requirements for an effective cyber system include:

Continue reading “Berto Jongman: Cyber Security Solutions for the DoD and Intelligence Community”

Berto Jongman: Web Moving to Security 2.0

IO Privacy
Berto Jongman
Berto Jongman

Next version of the web will have resistance to surveillance at its core
by Mark Stockley

NakedSecurity, August 24, 2013

Did you know that yesterday, 23 August 2013, was the World Wide Web's birthday? It is 22 years and one day since the official Internaut Day – the day when Sir Tim Berners-Lee opened up the web to new users and kicked off a global communications revolution.

surveillance-narrowHow fitting then that it was in the web's 21st year, the year that traditionally signals the final transition from innocence to maturity, in which the scales fell from our eyes and we began to understand the vast scope and ambition of government internet surveillance.

If the Internet Engineering Task Force has its way then it may also become known as the year when we began to toughen up and make a web that's fit for a grown-up world.

Continue reading “Berto Jongman: Web Moving to Security 2.0”

Berto Jongman: NSA Gives GCQQ at Least £100m

07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, Corruption, Government, IO Privacy, IO Secrets, Military
Berto Jongman
Berto Jongman

How much to the Germans and others?

Exclusive: NSA pays £100m in secret funding for GCHQ

The US government has paid at least £100m to the UK spy agency GCHQ over the last three years to secure access to and influence over Britain's intelligence gathering programmes.

The top secret payments are set out in documents which make clear that the Americans expect a return on the investment, and that GCHQ has to work hard to meet their demands. “GCHQ must pull its weight and be seen to pull its weight,” a GCHQ strategy briefing said.

Read More Here