#1176 2017-08-15 14:36:09
This is very concerning:
Web hoster DreamHost says it has been asked to hand over more than 1.3 million IP addresses on visitors to a site that helped organize anti-Trump protests earlier this year.
Yes, it is, but they won't give up that info, and when it goes to court the "Justice" Dept. will get smacked hard.
Or...if that isn't what happens, I'm'a start packing.
#1177 2017-08-19 04:19:51
Casting the dragnet.
US telecoms giant Verizon says police are increasingly asking it to cough up massive dumps of cellphone data rather than individual records.
This according to the latest Verizon US transparency report for the first half of the 2017 calendar year. The dossier tracks government requests for phone records both of individual customers and large groups.
The latter group is becoming an increasingly popular target, said Verizon in its report this week. In particular, investigators are asking for "tower dumps," a record of everyone who connected to an individual phone tower as they passed by.
#1178 2017-08-25 23:08:35
The NSA begins its charm offensive to get Section 702 renewed.
Under significant political pressure, the NSA vowed that it would stop gathering information on anyone and everyone that even mentions a foreign target but it has not said it will reduce its existing database of information or limit its access by other government agencies. There is also nothing to stop the NSA from changing its mind at a later date unless specific changes are made to the law itself.
And that is ultimately what this unusual NSA public post is about: pushing back against efforts to rewrite the law to exclude the NSA from doing many of the things it has bent Section 702's wording to accommodate.
With Congress required to reauthorize FISA at the end of the year and with lawmakers due to hold hearings in its next session starting in September on what should be done, the NSA is pushing back against a growing consensus that radical changes need to be made to the law to prevent it from being abused.
#1179 2017-08-28 06:54:31
...the NSA vowed that it would stop gathering information on anyone and everyone...
Last edited by GooberMcNutly (2017-08-28 06:55:17)
#1180 2017-09-01 05:24:02
The NSA begins its charm offensive to get Section 702 renewed.
And in support, the administration moves to stack the deck.
This month however - and on the same day that the NSA started a PR campaign to retain mass spying laws under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) - President Trump suddenly decided to nominate a new chair to the PCLOB [Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, currently moribund]. . . .
In the context of the PCLOB however, what [nominee] Mr [Adam] Klein is renowned for is his defense of Section 702 of the FISA Act.
He even wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal just last month that defended the most controversial aspect of the spying program: the ability of the FBI to search a vast database of information on US citizens that was compiled using Section 702 - a law that explicitly notes it is only to be used for foreign intelligence targets and exempts US citizens.
#1181 2017-09-01 05:40:52
What, you were expecting secure communications? The new administration is no more friendly to privacy than the previous one.
The deputy US Attorney General said he wants legislators to force technology companies to decrypt people's private conversations.
Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday told a crowd of over 600 police officers that software developers should be required by law to unscrambled end-to-end encrypted chatter on demand - and if the engineers refuse, they should be strong-armed into complying.
#1183 2017-09-10 02:38:33
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Lawmakers assigned to oversee the sprawling U.S. intelligence apparatus rely strongly on a staff that in recent years has included scores of onetime spooks, analysts and lawyers who previously worked at the spy agencies under scrutiny.
According to a comprehensive analysis by McClatchy, at least one-third, and perhaps far more, of the professional staff members who carry out the work of the House and Senate intelligence committees are themselves veterans of the agencies that the two panels oversee. . . .
One former staff director, who declined to speak for attribution because of the sensitivity of the subject, said "all but a couple" of professional staff under him had come from intelligence agencies.
Another former House intelligence staff member, Mieke Eoyang, a lawyer who has no intelligence agency background and served from 2007 until 2010, said she thinks "maybe two-thirds, maybe 75 percent" of fellow staff members were former intelligence agency employees.
#1185 2017-09-18 05:48:42
Does the U.S. intelligence community spy on Americans using a law that says they can't? You're not allowed to know.
The unclassified letter from [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats to Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and released by the legislator, comes in response to a simple question he has repeatedly asked Coats in public and private:
Can the government collect communications it knows are entirely domestic, under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act?
Coats refuses to answer the question, at least publicly. To do so would "cause serious damage to national security," the letter argues. "I provided you a comprehensive classified response to your question on July 24," writes Coats. "This response also discussed, at length, why the information is properly classified and cannot be publicly released." . . .
"I have asked Director Coats repeatedly to answer the question I actually asked [during an open hearing]," Wyden said in a statement on Wednesday. "But now he claims answering the question would be classified, and do serious damage to national security. The refusal of the DNI to answer this simple yes-no question should set off alarms. How can Congress reauthorize this surveillance when the administration is playing games with basic questions about this program?"
#1186 2017-09-20 16:29:04
#1187 2017-09-24 23:05:04
The NSA scrupulously follows the law, except for all the times it doesn't.
The FISC [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] is not like a normal court. There are no cops patrolling the streets to make sure no one breaks the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law the FISC oversees, and then charging scofflaws. Violations of FISA get discovered in just three ways. Hypothetically, defendants prosecuted using evidence collected under FISA sometimes can ask to review the underlying process for any problems, but aside from a few times prosecutors have told defendants the government spied on their conversations with lawyers, that has never once worked in practice. In very rare cases, most notably with Edward Snowden's leaks, whistleblowers will reveal details that even Congress didn't fully understand (such as that NSA sometimes bypasses FISA by stealing Google and Yahoo data from their servers overseas, rather than using the FISA program, called PRISM).
In general, however, the FISC and Congress have to rely on the NSA or DOJ to report any violations of FISA; NSA, effectively, gets to police itself.
While the government claims it does a good job self-policing, the court hasn't always agreed. Even before the FISA Amendments Act passed, the government reorganized PRISM without telling judge Reggie Walton, who was overseeing a challenge to that program. A year later, judge Thomas Hogan was surprised to learn the NSA hadn't been reporting all violations to the court, reporting only systematic ones or specific misrepresentations the government made to the court. After the government revealed two different systematic problems in 2009 and a third in 2011, affecting three different programs, FISC judge John Bates complained about "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." And after several delayed notifications last fall and this spring, Rosemary Collyer scoffed at the government's excuses for two different eleven- and five- month delays in notifying the FISC of violations. "Too often, however, the government fails to meet its obligation to provide prompt notification to the FISC when noncompliance is discovered."
So one reason the government ends up spying on Americans inappropriately for years at a time is because it takes that long to get around to telling the FISC it has been doing so.
#1188 2017-09-27 06:04:56
A way to remember the embarrassing moments of life
Request a data dump...
#1191 2017-10-16 14:57:39
#1192 2017-10-16 17:15:22
Yeah that data is used to plan retail stores (openings and closings)
#1193 2017-10-28 00:08:04
Sure, whistleblowers can report their concerns through proper channels.
[Dan] Meyer, whose job is to talk to intelligence community whistleblowers, can no longer talk to whistleblowers. He has been barred from communicating with whistleblowers, the main responsibility of his job as the executive director for intelligence community whistleblowing and source protection. He is currently working on an instructional pamphlet for whistleblowers, and he will have no duties to perform after he's completed that work.
He can also no longer brief the agencies or the congressional committees on his work as he's done in the past, send out his whistleblower newsletter, or conduct outreach. And he has no deputy or staff. . . .
But [former intelligence community Inspector General Chuck] McCullough retired in early March, and the office is now barely functioning, according to those familiar with its role. Acting Inspector General Wayne Stone, according to four sources with knowledge of the matter, has spent the majority of his tenure at graduate school at Harvard University in Boston, with no access to a place to review classified information. Only recently has he been forced to return to Washington to perform his duties at least two days every two weeks. He has been told he most likely won't get the nomination for the permanent position.
Additionally, Acting Deputy Inspector General Jeanette McMillian while instrumental in building the office, has sidelined Meyer, the official in charge of whistleblowing complaints. . . .
One concern in particular, sources say, is Chris Sharpley, who has been nominated to serve as the top watchdog for the CIA's Office of the Inspector General. According to three sources and reporting from the Project on Government Oversight, Sharpley, who is currently the acting head of the office, has several outstanding whistleblower retaliation complaints against him and has pressured Meyer to uncover the identity of employees raising complaints outside his purview. And without an intelligence community inspector general, there is nowhere for CIA employees to turn when they feel uncomfortable approaching their agency's inspector general, have already been retaliated against, or have a complaint that applies to the community broadly.
#1194 2017-10-28 00:12:07
Microsoft actually accomplishes something good (in this case, by suing the DOJ).
The Justice Department has issued new guidelines aimed at providing more transparency around prosecutors' secret demands for customer data stored on tech firms' servers.
The binding guidance, approved last week by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, ends the routine imposition of gag orders barring companies from telling customers that their email or other records have been turned over in response to legal demands.
It also bans -- in most cases -- indefinite gag orders that forbid a company from ever telling users that their data has been searched. . . .
The new guidance requires prosecutors to tailor their applications for secrecy orders to ensure that they are necessary, and to explain why. For instance, a prosecutor might fear that targets will destroy data if they learn of the probe. Or a target might try to flee. The assessment must be "individualized and meaningful."
And now there is a time limit: "Barring exceptional circumstances," a gag order may be sought for "one year or less."
The policy does not apply to orders under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or to "national security letters," a type of administrative subpoena used in national security cases.
#1195 2017-10-28 00:15:58
As usual, Senator Ron Wyden is one of the few to stand up for civil liberties.
Two competing pieces of draft legislation have been pushed into the lawmaking process: one that would officially endorse domestic spying, and a second that would explicitly ban it. . . .
In direct response to [the reauthorization bill], a bipartisan group of lawmakers has proposed a new piece of legislation - the USA Rights Act - that would explicitly prevent American citizens from being targeted, as well as close the loopholes created by the security services to spy on domestic targets.
Unsurprisingly, Uncle Sam's snoops - the NSA and FBI in particular - are strongly behind the reauthorization effort, particularly since they are increasingly using their interpretation of FISA to fill in for other spying programs that were taken away after they were exposed by Edward Snowden and later ruled unconstitutional.
Despite the explicit purpose of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - keyword: foreign - the US intelligence services have used it to build a vast database of information on US citizens by tapping domestic communication lines and then claiming any information picked up on said citizens is "incidentally collected."
While pretending that such intelligence is gathered by mistake, the g-men retain it all and then claim that information does not come with constitutional protections because it has already been gathered. As a result, the FBI is allowed to search it for US citizens using identifiers like name, email address, phone number, etc.
#1196 2017-10-28 00:21:13
Law doesn't let you spy domestically? Just invent new terms and do it anyway.
The new materials, which Human Rights Watch obtained through a freedom of information request, are training modules that primarily concern Executive Order 12333 (EO 12333). That order broadly governs the US intelligence agencies' activities, and includes provisions allowing the agencies to collect information on US persons - meaning US citizens and lawful permanent residents, as well as some corporations and associations - in a manner the government has never fully explained to the public. The training slides largely summarize Defense Department procedures concerning EO 12333 that were released in 2016, updating a 1982 version. Using plain language to demystify the procedures' phrasing, the slides offer hints about Defense Department intelligence practices that require further inquiry and exposure.
"These documents point to just how thoroughly the public has been kept in the dark about warrantless surveillance under Executive Order 12333," said Sarah St.Vincent, US surveillance and national security researcher at Human Rights Watch. "Their explanations of the order suggest that the government may be carrying out monitoring that poses serious problems for human rights, and Congress should seek more information about what the intelligence agencies are doing in this respect."
One of the documents' most troubling aspects is the indication that the Defense Department has authorized its intelligence components to carry out at least some forms of monitoring of US persons without a warrant, based on designations that use unknown and potentially discriminatory criteria. Specifically, one of the training documents indicates that this monitoring is permitted for US persons whom the government regards as "homegrown violent extremists" (referred to as "HVEs" in the slides) - even when they have "no specific connection to foreign terrorist(s)." The government's basis for this authorization is a revised definition of "counterintelligence" collection found in the 2016 procedures.
#1197 2017-10-28 00:30:07
Latest shot in the new crypto wars:
Like many career prosecutors, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is pretty sure he's more committed to upholding the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law than most of the rest of us are. This was the thrust of Rosenstein's recent October 10 remarks on encryption, delivered to an audience of midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy. . . .
Of course, he elides the fact that many who differ with his views on encryption--including yours truly, as a lawyer licensed in three jurisdictions--have also sworn, multiple times, to uphold the U.S. Constitution. What's more, many of the constitutional rights we now regard as sacrosanct, like the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, were only vindicated over time under our rule of law--frequently in the face of overreaching by law-enforcement personnel and federal prosecutors, all of whom also swore to uphold the Constitution.
The differing sides of the encryption policy debate can't be reduced to supporting or opposing the rule of law and the Constitution. But Rosenstein chooses to characterize the debate this way because, as someone whose generally admirable career has been entirely within government, and almost entirely within the U.S. Justice Department, he simply never attempted to put himself in the position of those with whom he disagrees.
#1198 2017-10-29 12:37:22
I always learn about these things by peeking through a crack in the door.
Purism Now Offers Laptops with Intel's 'Management Engine' Disabled
...HardOCP reports that Management Engine "is widely despised by security professionals and privacy advocates because it relies on signed and secret Intel code, isn't easily alterable, isn't fully documented, and has been found to be vulnerable to exploitation... In short, it's a tiny potentially hackable computer in your computer that you cannot totally control, nor opt-out of, but it can totally control your system."