Monthly Archives: March 2015

Commentary: Privacy vs. security: how the debate changes

The pilot who crashed the Germanwings plane, taking 150 lives, was too ill to work, according to doctors’ notes found at his home. But Germany’s strict medical privacy laws barred the doctors from conveying that judgment to the airline. A horrific event that could have

Pentagon Personnel Now Talking on ‘NSA-Proof’ Smartphones

The Defense Department has rolled out supersecret smartphones for work and maybe play, made by anti-government-surveillance firm Silent Circle, according to company officials. Silent Circle, founded by a former Navy Seal and the inventor of privacy-minded PGP encryption, is known for decrying federal efforts to

Security firm says new spy software in 10 countries came from Lebanon

A security company has discovered a computer spying campaign that it said “likely” originated with a government agency or political group in Lebanon, underscoring how far the capability for sophisticated computer espionage is spreading beyond the world’s top powers. Israeli-based computer security firm Check Point

Snowden film Citizenfour set for Hong Kong premiere in May

The Oscar-winning documentary set in Hong Kong during one of the biggest security leaks in United States history will premiere in a Yau Ma Tei cinema in the coming weeks. The documentary Citizenfour, about former US government intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, would make its Hong

Documents on NSA’s zero-day policy provide little insight, EFF says

When the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sued the National Security Agency (NSA) over records regarding the government’s alleged prior knowledge of Heartbleed, the privacy group hoped to gain insight into the agency’s zero-day exploitation policy. Within the heavily redacted pages of the obtained documents, however,

Europol chief says encryption is letting terror suspects hide

Europol chief Rob Wainwright has warned hidden ares of the internet and encrypted communications pose the biggest challenge to anti-terrorism agencies. “It’s become the biggest problem for the police and the security service authorities in dealing with the threats of terrorism,” he said on BBC

AP Exclusive: Before leak, NSA mulled ending phone program

The National Security Agency considered abandoning its secret program to collect and store American calling records in the months before leaker Edward Snowden revealed the practice, current and former intelligence officials say, because some officials believed the costs outweighed the meager counterterrorism benefits. After the

3 Reasons Apple Is Pushing for NSA Spying Reforms

Earlier this week, Apple and several other major U.S. tech companies renewed their calls for the U.S. government to reform its controversial electronic surveillance programs. In an open letter addressed to President Barack Obama, NSA Director Admiral Rogers, Attorney General Eric Holder, and several prominent

The FBI wants your computer and mobile to be insecure

You’d think that governments would be encouraging people to keep their computers and personal data safe. Until relatively recently, this has been exactly what the FBI has been pushing — suggesting that phone users should enable encryption on their handsets. But it seems that there

UK Government Authorized GHCQ to Hack Any Device

Last year, Privacy International legally challenged the UK government for information on its hacking powers via GHCQ. The request was based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden which alleged state-sponsored hacking. Not on the part of governments like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, but

Yahoo Password Free Log in: Issues and intent

Yahoo recently unveiled a new mechanism allowing users to log in with temporary passwords sent to their cellular phones. This new log in system, as reported in PC World, would use an on-demand password system and is based on the user’s mobile phone number. The

European Commission advises citizens to leave Facebook

With the digital age, many people are concerned about the privacy and data security that are shared on the internet. The orientation of the European Commission for these cases is very simple: quit Facebook. According to The Guardian information, local law can not guarantee the

The FBI used to recommend encryption. Now they want to ban it

For years, the agency recommended phone encryption as a defense against criminals. Now, that information has been scrubbed from public view. The FBI wants to make us all less safe. At least that’s the implication from FBI director Jim Comey’s push to ban unbreakable encryption and

Why Wikimedia Just Might Win Its Lawsuit Over NSA Surveillance

The National Security Agency and the Department of Justice are being sued by Wikimedia, the nonprofit organization that runs Wikipedia—the online encyclopedia whose articles can be written or edited by anyone. Wikimedia claims that the U.S. government’s mass surveillance programs are threatening its ability to

The Price That You Pay for Rocking the Boat

Last month, I gave this tribute to Aaron Swartz, an internet activist, when I hosted a special Capitol Hill showing of the documentary Killswitch. Aaron was targeted for prosecution for his political views and, facing decades in prison, he killed himself. The documentary not only

Intelligence Act: an aftertaste NSA to French

Several organizations denounce the precipitation of government regarding the law on intelligence, they accuse of being “draconian and safe.” A very large number of NGOs and associations have expressed real concerns about how the government will try to impose its law on intelligence, with an

US voices concern over China’s banking technology restrictions

Washington is questioning Beijing’s latest restrictions limiting the sale of foreign technology to Chinese banks, claiming the measures would hurt global trade, according to a filing with the World Trade Organization. The China Banking Regulatory Commission’s (CBRC) guidelines for IT security equipment used in banks has

Leave Facebook if you value your privacy, says EU

Citizens within the European Union (EU) have been advised to close their Facebook accounts if they wish to keep their private information away from the prying eyes of the US security services. In a hearing that could have significant bearing on the future of the

UN sets up privacy rapporteur role in wake of Snowden leaks

Landmark decision in response to US and UK monitoring is attempt to establish idea that freedom from excessive surveillance is a basic right. The United Nations human rights council is to establish the role of a rapporteur to cover privacy issues in a landmark decision