Tag Archive: Security

Trust Us Now?

Holy crap:

As Edward Snowden prepares to defend himself in a worldwide webinar Thursday, the Justice Department is accusing the private contractor that vetted him and thousands of other intelligence workers of bilking U.S. taxpayers out of tens of millions of dollars by conducting phony background checks.

USIS, the giant private contractor that conducted the background checks of both Snowden and Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, is accused in a Justice Department lawsuit

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The Clemency Question

The NYT has run an op-ed calling for Edward Snowden to be granted clemency or a plea deal so that he can return to the United States. While acknowledging that he broke the law, they argue:

Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may have committed a crime to do so, but

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Another Punch to the NSA

A few months ago, in response to Edward Snowden’s leaks, Obama put together a commission to whitewash his surveillance misdeeds make recommendations for how to improve privacy protections in the Surveillance Age. Yesterday, they came out with a slew of recommendations. Conor has a good roundup:

The panel’s 46 recommendations, all implicit critiques of the way the NSA operates now, would rein in the agency in many of the ways civil libertarians have urged.

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All Your Infos

Well call me Nancy and color me surprised:

Maryland’s Health Connection, the state’s Obamacare marketplace, has been plagued by delays in the first days of open enrollment. If users are able to endure long page-loading delays, they are presented with the website’s privacy policy, a ubiquitous fine-print feature on websites that often go unread. Nevertheless, users are asked to check off a box that they agree to the terms.

The policy contains many standard

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The Surveillance State Continue to Close In

Following on Alex’s note about the CFPB (jeez, who would have thought that would go wrong?), I thought I’d round up stories from the last week or two just to emphasize the point: the more we find out about our surveillance state, the worse it gets. I would explain, but there is too much. Let me sum up:

  • The NSA is working very hard to break encryption algorithms. This isn’t surprising; it’s what the NSA … Read more
  • More From The NSA

    As the debate over NSA’s powers unfold, the usual suspects are citing NSA’s denials and obfuscations as “proof” that there is nothing untoward going on. The latest debate is over XKEYSCORE, which is a user interface for data mining.

    It’s important, however, that you understand how NSA says things. The denials and reassurances are very carefully worded and Jameel Jaffer and Brett Max Kaufman untangle some of the euphemisms that are employed. For example:… Read more

    Manning Verdict

    The story is still breaking, but it looks like Bradley Manning was just convicted of espionage but not convicted of aiding the enemy.

    I know it won’t make me popular with fellow libertarians, but I think the verdict is reasonable and it’s easy to see why when you contrast his behavior against Edward Snowden. Snowden blew the whistle on very specific programs he believed were violating the Constitutional rights of Americans. Manning dumped a whole … Read more

    Further Thoughts on Prism

    A few notes as this story evolves:

    You should read the NYT’s story about PRISM. It makes everything consistent: Greenwald’s original report, the tech companies denial and the reports we’ve been hearing off and on for the last seven years. Money quote:

    Each of the nine companies said it had no knowledge of a government program providing officials with access to its servers, and drew a bright line between giving the government wholesale access to

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    The YouTube Problem

    This is all kinds of wrong:

    Obama administration officials said Thursday that they have asked YouTube to review the video [that reportedly set off the embassy attacks] and determine whether it violates the site’s terms of service, according to people close to the situation but not authorized to comment.

    This is just plain wrong, especially given that YouTube had already said the video didn’t violate their terms. It’s one thing for citizens to call on … Read more

    Stinging the Stingers

    You know that scene in every mediocre spy movie where the surveillance team finally busts the bad guys only to find out the bad guys were really a surveillance team for another agency? Yeah, that just happened:

    He saw something. He said something. And he inadvertently uncovered a secret spying operation that the New York Police Department was running outside its jurisdiction.

    In June 2009, a building superintendent at an apartment complex near the

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