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Submission + - All Your Skype Belong to US -- lol NSA (arstechnica.com) 1

sl4shd0rk writes: Yep. That collective groan can mean only one thing. More NSA tinfoil turmoil coming. It may not surprise you that Microsft handed over it's encryption to the NSA for Email and chat, but it now appears that Skype video is also collected. When pressed on the issue, Microsoft at first stated "Skype produced no content in response to these requests” regarding requests from law enforcement. Microsoft doesn't quite mention however the non-content data which was turned over contained such things as SkypeID, name, e-mail account, billing information, and call detail records. Also, before you begin griping with "So, what? Stop with all the NSA stuff already!" at least educate yourself on why all of this exposure matters

Submission + - Microsoft assisting FBI and NSA in decrypting encrypted messages (guardian.co.uk)

Taco Cowboy writes: The latest scoop from Edward Snowden's release is how Microsoft has handed NSA and FBI access to email messages, files stored on SkyDrive, audios (telephone calls on Skype) and videos (also from Skype).

Nothing is sacred anymore, it seems.

Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.

Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;

The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;

The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;

In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;

Submission + - MS handing NSA access to encrypted chat & email (guardian.co.uk)

kaptink writes: Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal. The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail. The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide. Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases. Skype, which was bought by Microsoft in October 2011, worked with intelligence agencies last year to allow Prism to collect video of conversations as well as audio. Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".

Submission + - Discovering NSA code names (techdirt.com)

Okian Warrior writes: Washington Post revealed some of the code names for various NSA surveillance programs, including NUCLEON, MARINA and MAINWAY. Chris Soghoian has pointed out that a quick LinkedIn search for profiles with codenames like MARINA and NUCLEON happen to turn up profiles like this one which appear to reveal more codenames:

Skilled in the use of several Intelligence tools and resources: ANCHORY, AMHS, NUCLEON, TRAFFICTHIEF, ARCMAP, SIGNAV, COASTLINE, DISHFIRE, FASTSCOPE, OCTAVE/CONTRAOCTAVE, PINWALE, UTT, WEBCANDID, MICHIGAN, PLUS, ASSOCIATION, MAINWAY, FASCIA, OCTSKYWARD, INTELINK, METRICS, BANYAN, MARINA

TRAFFICTHIEF, eh? WEBCANDID? Hmm... Apparently, NSA employees don't realize that information they post online can be revealed.

Submission + - Snowden: NSA spying on EU diplomats and administrators (www.dw.de)

An anonymous reader writes: According to a report dated 2010 recently provided by Snowden to the German news magazine "Der Spiegel", the NSA has systematically been spying on institutions of the EU in Washington DC, New York, and Brussels. Methods of spying include bugging, phone taps, and network intrusions and surveillance according to the documents.

Submission + - Snowden kills "metadata" argument during live hosted by The Guardian

An anonymous reader writes: In a live chat hosted by the The Guardian, Edward Snowden has clarified that the NSA does not simply have access to metadata, as has been the media rhetoric, and that large volumes of data relating to US citizens is frequently ingested.

Answering one question, he wrote:

If I target for example an email address, for example under FAA 702, and that email address sent something to you, Joe America, the analyst gets it. All of it. IPs, raw data, content, headers, attachments, everything. And it gets saved for a very long time — and can be extended further with waivers rather than warrants.

Answering another:

US Persons do enjoy limited policy protections (and again, it's important to understand that policy protection is no protection — policy is a one-way ratchet that only loosens) and one very weak technical protection — a near-the-front-end filter at our ingestion points. The filter is constantly out of date, is set at what is euphemistically referred to as the "widest allowable aperture," and can be stripped out at any time. Even with the filter, US comms get ingested, and even more so as soon as they leave the border.

Submission + - NSA Surveillance Heat Map -- NSA Lied to Congress

anagama writes: NSA officials have repeatedly denied under oath to Congress that even producing an estimate of the number of Americans caught up in its surveillance is impossible. Leaked screenshots of an NSA application that does exactly that, prove that the NSA flat out lied (surprise). Glenn Greenwald continues his relentless attacks with another bombshell this time exposing Boundless Informant. Interestingly, the NSA spies more on America than China according to the heat map. Representative Wyden had sought amendments to FISA reauthorization bill that would have required the NSA to provide information like this (hence the NSA's lies), but Obama and Feinstein demanded a pure reauthorization of FISA, which they got at the end of 2012.

Submission + - Jammie Thomas Denied Supreme Court Appeal (theverge.com)

sarysa writes: The Supreme Court has refused to hear the latest appeal of the 7 year old Jammie Thomas case, regarding a single mother who was fined $222,000 in her most recent appeal for illegally sharing 24 songs. Those of us hoping for an Eighth Amendment battle over this issue will not be seeing it anytime soon. In spite of the harsh penalties, the journalist suggests that: "Still, the RIAA is sensitive about how it looks if they impoverish a woman of modest means. Look for them to ask her for far less than the $222,000."

Submission + - Aaron Swartz's prosecutor Steve Heymann Should Be Fired (tumblr.com) 1

Weezul writes: Thanks to a last minute appeal by Aaron Swarz' girlfriend, a petition to fire Boston Assistant US Attorney Stephen Heymann has passed 25,000 signatures, has crossed the threshold required to elicit a White House response. Steve Heymann is the prosecutor in the Massachusetts US Attorneyâ(TM)s office who so aggressively and unreasonably went after Aaron to further his own career.
Crime

Submission + - Why Couldn't Obama's SEC Chief Save Aaron Swartz?

theodp writes: 'You don't want to mess with Mary Jo,' President Obama quipped on Jan. 24th as he introduced Mary Jo White, his pick to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. White, Obama emphasized, was a nominee who could be counted on to 'fight for the American People.' Unfortunately, while White — acting as JSTOR's attorney — tried to fight for Internet activist Aaron Swartz, his Boston prosecutors apparently weren't afraid to mess with Mary Jo, and declined to drop the ridiculous charges. Swartz committed suicide on Jan. 11th. So, should the President be concerned that his pick for SEC Chief — touted as one of the nation's best lawyers — was given the metaphorical middle finger by his Dept. of Justice? If it's any consolation, there are reports that White and her law firm seem to be having better luck fighting for Wall Street than Swartz.

Submission + - Corporations Profiting from Drug War Ask Eric Holder to Stop Legal Pot (reason.com) 3

cathyreisenwitz writes: "A coalition of interest groups whose members profit off marijuana prohibition, including the former leader of a chain of abusive teen rehab centers, have sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that the Department of Justice prevent Colorado and Washington from taxing and regulating marijuana."

Submission + - Anonymous Hacks Federal Sentencing Commission website -- Posts Video (cbsnews.com) 2

anagama writes: ""This time there will be change, or there will be chaos." In response to the disproportionate prosecution of Swartz, Anonymous hacked the US. Sentencing Commission website and posted a video. One interesting thing discussed in the video, is an encrypted file that it is hoped will spread far and wide (mirror list — appears to be files related to Supreme Court Justices), the key for which would be released if reforms are not enacted. As for the statement itself, the text is available in the ZDNet article and mirror list linked above, and includes this clearly self-aware statement: "We [who] make this statement do not expect to be negotiated with; we do not desire to be negotiated with. We understand that due to the actions we take we exclude ourselves from the system within which solutions are found. There are others who serve that purpose, people far more respectable than us, people whose voices emerge from the light, and not the shadows. These voices are already making clear the reforms that have been necessary for some time, and are outright required now.""
Japan

Submission + - Fukushima Reactor Design Questioned Since 1972

anagama writes: "The NY Times is reporting that as early as 1972, the design of the containment system used in the Fukushima plant's reactors was questioned by the US Atomic Energy Commission. The article includes a link to the original 1972 memo, which pointed out that the boiling water design with the pressure suppression system below the reactor, was a method of building containment more cheaply by reducing pressure reduction within the reactor, but that if the pressure reduction system failed, breach of the containment was more likely than in simpler and stronger dry containment systems. In other words, the BWR design was a cost-cutting measure. Thankfully though, Josef Oehmen has assured us that absolutely nothing bad can happen with this design and everyone should just relax."
Businesses

Submission + - The strange case of Josef Oehmen 1

Anonymous Coward writes: "There is alot of misinformation and misinterpretation of what is happening at the Fukushima power plant in Japan. Yesterday I followed a link on slashdot and read an article "Why I’m not worried about Japan’s nuclear reactors" [http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/why-i-am-not-worried-about-japans-nuclear-reactors-from-mits-dr-josef-oehmen/], written by a "MIT research scientist" by the name of "Josef Oehmen" [http://lean.mit.edu/about/lai-structure/faculty-researchers-and-staff/oehmen-josef]. There was something fishy about it, and today you can see an interesting example of astroturfing enfolding[http://geniusnow.com/2011/03/15/the-strange-case-of-josef-oehmen/]..."

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