Tag Archives: NSA spying

Apple Claims New iPhone Locks Out NSA

As reported previously, the NSA has complete control of your Iphone. The Snowden revelations of the backdoors on personal computers and cellphone has changed the market’s demand for security and privacy.

The New York Times is signaling the end of the Snowden-era with Apple’s release of the latest iPhone.

According to the Times, the National Security Agency and other law enforcement agencies are not pleased that the iPhone 6 and its encryption technology will hinder phone monitoring.

The phone encrypts emails, photos and contacts based on a complex mathematical algorithm that uses a code created by, and unique to, the phone’s user — and that Apple claims it will not possess.

So, essentially, if Apple is sent a court order demanding that the contents of an iPhone 6 be provided to intelligence agencies or law enforcement, it will turn over gibberish, along with a note saying that to decode the phone’s emails, contacts and photos, investigators will have to break the code or get the code from the phone’s owner.

According to an Apple technical guide, it could take more than 5-½ years to break this code, but computer security experts point out that the NSA has supercomputers that could potentially crack those codes quickly.

The NSA spying scandal will cost American tech companies billions of dollars if they can’t gain trust in the international market.

This could just be a real effort by Apple to secure their product or just a marketing ploy.

 

Germany asks US official to leave, while media likens US to “North Korea or Iran”

After German Chancellor Angela Merkel accused the NSA of wiretapping hers and millions of other German’s digital communication, the German government has asked the top CIA representative in the country to leave at once.

According to the Guardian, the CIA representative was responsible for coordinating secret service activities in Germany, and this representative was also the contact for two German officials recently arrested on charges of spying for the U.S.

“The representative of the U.S. intelligence services at the Embassy of the United States of America,” says German government spokesman Steffen Seibert according to the Washington Post, “has been requested to leave Germany.”

This all comes a year after whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked the evidence showing the NSA was wiretapping foreign citizen’s communications.

The German government has been frustrated, according to the New York Times, with the U.S. for not explaining their actions concerning the wiretapping as well as over assurances from President Obama that the government will no longer spy on German citizens despite the two arrested German officials.

The White House, earlier this week, said the relationship between the U.S. and German governments is one built on respect, but the German media has likened the actions taken by the U.S. government to those of “pariah states like North Korea or Iran.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest would not comment on the state of U.S. intelligence.  “Any sort of comment on any reported intelligence acts,” Earnest says according to the LA Times, “would put at risk U.S. assets, U.S. personnel and the United States national security.”

Catlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the NSA, said, “Our security and intelligence relationship with Germany is a very important one, and it keeps Germans and Americans safe… and we will continue to be in touch with the German government in appropriate channels.”

Breaking: Greenwald Reveals 5 Americans Targeted By NSA

On Wednesday, journalist Glenn Greenwald has finally named names. And those names, as reported by The Intercept, include five politically active Muslim-Americans, who didn’t actually pose threats to national security.

These American citizens were targeted for surveillance between 2002 and 2008 due to their political activity. The Intercept reported that the surveillance was not “based solely” on speech.

“No U.S. person can be the subject of FISA surveillance based solely on First Amendment activities, such as staging public rallies, organizing campaigns, writing critical essays, or expressing personal beliefs,” the NSA’s statement read.

The five names are:

  • Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.

  • Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases.

  • Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University.

  • Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights.

  • Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.

According to the Intercept, “The individuals appear on an NSA spreadsheet in the Snowden archives called “FISA recap”—short for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Under that law, the Justice Department must convince a judge with the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that there is probable cause to believe that American targets are not only agents of an international terrorist organization or other foreign power, but also “are or may be” engaged in or abetting espionage, sabotage, or terrorism. The authorizations must be renewed by the court, usually every 90 days for U.S. citizens.”

These e-mail addresses were among 7,485 others belonging to foreigners with ties to Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah.

“The five Americans whose email accounts were monitored by the NSA and FBI have all led highly public, outwardly exemplary lives. All five vehemently deny any involvement in terrorism or espionage, and none advocates violent jihad or is known to have been implicated in any crime, despite years of intense scrutiny by the government and the press,” wrote Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain.

“I just don’t know why,” Gill told the Intercept. Gill’s AOL and Yahoo! email accounts were monitored while he was a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates. “I’ve done everything in my life to be patriotic. I served in the Navy, served in the government, was active in my community—I’ve done everything that a good citizen, in my opinion, should do.”

 Watch video below:

Thomas Massie Leads House to Pass Limits on NSA Spying

Ever since whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the fact that the National Security Agency has been engaging in widespread, warrantless spying on American citizens, civil liberties advocates have been pushing for Congress to pass restrictions on the program. At first, reformers rallied around the USA Freedom Act, a bill intended to terminate the NSA’s bulk collection of cell phone metadata and to bring transparency to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. However, last-minute backroom deals with the intelligence establishment weakened the bill so severely that early supporters and civil liberties proponents like Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) ultimately ended up voting against it.

However, late last night, Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced an amendment to the 2015 Defense Appropriations Act that would restrict the NSA’s ability to perform warrantless backdoor searches of users’ data and would prohibit the agency from compelling online services to create workarounds that allow it to bypass encryption methods meant to protect sensitive information. The restrictions on warrantless backdoor searches would stop the NSA’s bulk collections of email content, search histories, and chat records, which are currently ongoing.

Zoe Lofgren originally told US News and World Report that she wasn’t certain that the amendment would pass. However, the bipartisan civil liberties coalition acted swiftly, mobilizing interest groups to push constituents to contact representatives and using parliamentary measures to bring the amendment to a vote immediately. Said Representative Massie of the effort, “It was to our benefit that it moved quickly without a lot of advance notice, because [opponents] didn’t have time to mount a disinformation campaign. We had just enough time to rally the outside groups and constituents, and they lacked just enough time to counteract that.”

Ultimately, the Republican-controlled House passed the amendment, with 293 voting in favor and 123 voting against. Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who was just elected House Majority Leader, opposed the measure in defiance of the majority of House members and his own party. In order to become law, the language must also be adopted by the Senate and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

This historic vote represents the first time that Congress has successfully passed serious restrictions on the NSA’s bulk collection of data on Americans following Edward Snowden’s revelations about the program. The amendment technically modifies section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which had been used “unconstitutionally,” according to the Electronic Freedom Foundation, to collect domestic data on American citizens. Language similar to the amendment had originally appeared in the USA Freedom Act before it was removed during negotiations. Though the amendment does not comprehensively solve all of the issues brought forward by Edward Snowden, civil liberties advocates are heralding this vote as a major victory and turning point in the battle to limit the NSA’s ongoing spying operations against American citizens.

Snowden Urges Tech Companies to Create More Security Products

Edward Snowden urges tech companies to build more security products to help fight against government spying. Using better security technology that is easy to use, Snowden hopes to slow down government spying on innocent citizens.

“The people in the room in Austin, they’re the folks who can really fix things and enforce our rights through technical standards, even when Congress hasn’t yet gotten to the point of legislation that protects our rights,” Snowden said while speaking to the South by Southwest Conference in Austin via streaming video that was routed through seven proxies.

Snowden went on to criticize the volume of information that the NSA and other government agencies are collecting. He pointed out that “We’ve reached a point where the majority of Americans’ telephone communications are being recorded. We’ve all this metadata that is being stored for years and years and years.”

Snowden added that “We’ve actually had tremendous intelligence failures … because we’re monitoring everyone’s communications instead of suspects’ communications,” Snowden said. “That lack of focus has caused us to miss leads that we should have had.”

The entire Snowden talk:

Do you think using capitalism and better technology will slow down government spying? Let us know in the comments below.

Exclusive Interview with Lt. Col. Bill Connor: “I’d like to see the FED audited”

 

 

Five months ago Benswann.com broke the story that Lt. Col. Bill Connor was considering a run against two term incumbent, Senator Lindsey Graham. Connor told Joshua Cook that he was an “ultimate outsider” and wanted to fight to regain our Constitutional Republic. Connor officially announced his run last November making him the fourth challenger following, Richard Cash, Nance Mace, and state senator Lee Bright. Last week Cook interviewed Connor at the South Carolina Tea Party Convention and asked him his thoughts on: NSA spying, drones, foreign policy, fiscal policy, federal reserve, national debt, Obamacare, Nullification, and the 2nd Amendment.

 

bill connor - holds constitution