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Submission + - NSA Officers Sometimes Spy on Love Interests (wsj.com)

Jah-Wren Ryel writes: The latest twist in the NSA coverage sounds like something out of a dime-store romance novel — NSA agents eavesdropping on their current and former girlfriends. Official categories of spying have included SIGINT (signals intelligence) and HUMINT (human intelligence) and now the NSA has added a new category to the lexicon LOVEINT which is surely destined to be a popular hashtag now.

Submission + - The financial relationship between the NSA and Silicon Valley (theregister.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: 'New documents from Edward Snowden published in The Guardian have shown for the first time the financial relationship between the NSA and some of the largest names in the tech business over the PRISM data-collection scheme ..`

"Last year's problems resulted in multiple extensions to the certifications' expiration dates which cost millions of dollars for Prism providers to implement each successive extension – costs covered by Special Source Operations" the document reads.

Submission + - EFF Victory: Release of Secret Court Opinion: NSA Surveillance Unconstitutional

mspohr writes: For over a year, EFF has been fighting the government in federal court to force the public release of an 86-page opinion of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Issued in October 2011, the secret court's opinion found that surveillance conducted by the NSA under the FISA Amendments Act was unconstitutional and violated "the spirit of" federal law.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/eff-victory-results-expected-release-secret-court-opinion-finding-nsa-surveillance
Further coverage at the NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/us/2011-ruling-found-an-nsa-program-unconstitutional.html
Judge Bates: “The Court is troubled that the government’s revelations regarding N.S.A.’s acquisition of Internet transactions mark the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program,”

Submission + - US, Germany To Enter No-Spying Agreement (itworld.com) 1

itwbennett writes: From the solving-nonexistent-problems department. The German Federal Intelligence Service said in a news release that the U.S. has verbally committed to enter into a no-spying agreement with Germany. The no-spying agreement talks were announced as part of a progress report on an eight-point program proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkelin July with measures to better protect the privacy of German citizens. In the progress report, the German government found that U.S. intelligence services comply with German law. Also, the operators of large German Internet exchanges and the federal government did not find any evidence that the U.S. spies on Germans, the government said.

Submission + - Next Up: The Jamming Wars (itworld.com)

chicksdaddy writes: ITWorld has an interesting opinion piece on the next privacy battleground, which they say will be over citizens right to use jamming technology to (forcibly) opt-out of ubiquitous surveillance, as sensors pop up in more and more public spaces (http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/08/no-this-isnt-a-scene-from-minority-report-this-trash-can-is-stalking-you/) and private homes alike.

"Given the rapid pace of technological change, we don't know exactly what the future holds for us. But one thing is certain: personal privacy is going to turn from a "right" to a "fight" in the next decade, as individuals take up arms against government and private sector snooping on their personal lives."

The article mentions some skirmishes that have already occurred: employees using GPS jamming hardware to prevent employers from tracking their every movement, and the crush of new business for encrypted voice, video and texting services like SilentCircle (up 400% in the last two months). (https://securityledger.com/2013/08/anonymous-email-services-shutter-in-wake-of-snowden/)

"Absent the protection of the law, citizens should be expected to do what they do elsewhere: take matters into their own hands: latching onto tools and technology to give them the privacy that they aren't afforded by the legal system. However, there may not be an easy technology fix for ubiquitous, unregulated surveillance. Writing in Wired this week (http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/08/yah-surveillance-sucks-but-technology-isnt-the-only-solution/), Jathan Sadowski warns that the tendency for individuals to focus on securing their own data and communications and using technology to do may be misleading.

"The problem is that focusing on one or both of these approaches distracts from the much-needed political reform and societal pushback necessary to dig up a surveillance state at its root," Sadowski writes.

Submission + - Samsung Workers Given Just 85 Seconds to Assemble a Smartphone (ibtimes.co.uk)

DavidGilbert99 writes: A worker in Samsung’s factory in Zona Franca de Manaus, which sits on the banks of the Amazon, is given just six seconds to prepare a box containing a mobile phone battery charger, headset and two instruction manuals. This task is expected to be carried out up to 6,800 times in single shift.
This — along with having just 85 seconds to put entirely assemble a smartphone, 10-hour shifts standing on your feet, working 27 days straight and a hugely increased incidence of work-related injuries — are the reasons why prosecutors in Brazil have brought legal action against Samsung for violating labour laws.

Submission + - Snowden, Manning not whistleblowers, claims Australia's Attorney-General (delimiter.com.au)

renai42 writes: If you talk to most people, WikiLeaks collaborator Bradley Manning and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden are either criminals or some of the greatest whistleblowers of the modern age. Australia's Federal Attorney-General — the highest lawmaker in the country — has come down in the first camp, declaring in a high profile speech during the country's election campaign that neither can technically be classified as "whistleblowers", as they did not expose any government wrongdoing.

Submission + - Edward Snowden Speaks to Peter Maass .. (nytimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Peter Maass: Why did you seek out Laura and Glenn, rather than journalists from major American news outlets (N.Y.T., W.P., W.S.J. etc.)? In particular, why Laura, a documentary filmmaker?

Edward Snowden: After 9/11, many of the most important news outlets in America abdicated their role as a check to power — the journalistic responsibility to challenge the excesses of government — for fear of being seen as unpatriotic and punished in the market during a period of heightened nationalism. From a business perspective, this was the obvious strategy, but what benefited the institutions ended up costing the public dearly. The major outlets are still only beginning to recover from this cold period ..

Submission + - Medical costs bankrupt patients; it's the computer's fault (nytimes.com)

nbauman writes: Don't get cancer until 2015. The Obama health reform is supposed to limit out-of-pocket costs to $12,700. But the Obama Administration has delayed its implementation until 2015. The insurance companies told them that their computers weren't able to add up all their customers' out-of-pocket costs, to see whether they had reached the limit. For some common diseases, such as cancer or heart failure, treatment can cost over $100,000, and patients will be responsible for the balance.

Tell me, Slashdot, how difficult would it be to rewrite an insurance billing system to aggregate a policyholder's out-of-pocket costs?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/13/us/a-limit-on-consumer-costs-is-delayed-in-health-care-law.html
A Limit on Consumer Costs Is Delayed in Health Care Law
By ROBERT PEAR
August 12, 2013

A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said: “We knew this was an important issue. We had to balance the interests of consumers with the concerns of health plan sponsors and carriers, which told us that their computer systems were not set up to aggregate all of a person’s out-of-pocket costs. They asked for more time to comply.”

Submission + - Creator of xkcd Reveals Secret Backstory of His Epic 3,099-Panel "Time" Comic (wired.com)

vikingpower writes: Randall Munroe, the comic author best known as the author of the xkcd webcomic, reveals the secret backstory of his epic, 3099-panel "Time" comic in an interesting interview with Wired.
The comic can be seen as an animation on youtube. There is also a complete click-through version available on geekwagon, of this comic that inspired a dedicated wiki and has its own glossary.

Submission + - FBI pressures Internet providers to install surveillance software (cnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. government is quietly pressuring telecommunications providers to install eavesdropping technology deep inside companies' internal networks to facilitate surveillance efforts.

FBI officials have been sparring with carriers, a process that has on occasion included threats of contempt of court, in a bid to deploy government-provided software capable of intercepting and analyzing entire communications streams. The FBI's legal position during these discussions is that the software's real-time interception of metadata is authorized under the Patriot Act.

Attempts by the FBI to install what it internally refers to as "port reader" software, which have not been previously disclosed, were described to CNET in interviews over the last few weeks. One former government official said the software used to be known internally as the "harvesting program."

Submission + - iOS 7: An Estrogen-Addled Mess Designed for 13 Year Old Girls (jimlynch.com)

JimLynch writes: There’s a real gender issue with the iOS 7 icon color scheme. The iOS 7 beta icons practically ooze estrogen! The manly, solid colors and design found in iOS 6 have been chopped off as viciously as Lord Varus’ balls and cock in Game of Thrones. In short, iOS 7 is a clam-o-rama of soft pastels that overwhelm male eyeballs, while bathing men in a sea of soft, limp nothingness.

If this is Johnny Ives’ work then it seems pretty clear that Scott Forstall was the alpha male at Apple. Or maybe it was Steve Jobs, or Jobs and Forstall together who put a masculine stamp on iOS? Either way, it’s pretty clear that iOS has totally lost its balls in iOS 7.

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