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Journal More on the GCHQ Hack Involving Slashdot Users: Official Statement 19

Over the weekend, Der Spiegel reported that among Edward Snowden's continuing bonanza of revelations about government surveillance is one that GCHQ, the British spy agency, intercepted user requests to certain websites — Slashdot and LinkedIn, in particular — and spoofed them in order to install spyware on users' computers. As you might expect, the agency denies knowledge.

Here's the official statement from Slashdot's parent company, Dice Holdings:

"We were alerted to these reported government agency actions by a submission on Slashdot made by the community Sunday evening linking to news stories. To be clear, we have not been asked to cooperate with any government agency related to this matter and have not provided access to Slashdot systems or user information. We know of no unauthorized Slashdot code manipulation, or attempts to effect any. We do not approve of this reported activity and if true, it's unfortunate that we are yet another in a long line of internet businesses to suffer this type of intrusion."

This is probably something that should surprise no one: claims, many of them credible and recent, point to various ways in which some well-known web sites and online services (Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, AT&T, Facebook, AOL, Skype, Apple, YouTube, and more) have all been affected by alleged government surveillance of one kind or another.

Being offended (as we on the editorial and coder team at Slashdot all are) by even a hint at spying on readers doesn't help in itself, so here are some practical notes: Nothing here involves Slashdot's code base or user data: the allegation is of transparent proxies between website (LinkedIn and Slashdot happen to be mentioned, but most likely many others) and user. The spoofing and malware injection said to have taken place relies on the fact that between practically any server on the internet and the end user, there are compromisable links. However, it's probably a wise policy to assume that you never know all the possible ways your privacy may be compromised online.

Please keep in mind, too, that Slashdot has long enabled and encouraged anonymous participation; you are welcome to read the site, leave comments, and submit stories, without logging in. (Logged in readers can read with SSL turned on, though.)

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More on the GCHQ Hack Involving Slashdot Users: Official Statement

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