Tag Archives | Wiretap

Former NSA Chief on Spy Program: It’s Real, and It’s Spectacular

o-NSA-PHONE-RECORD-COLLECTION-facebookJust in case the cognitive dissonance wasn’t already large enough on the story-and-counterstory around programs such as XKEYSCORE and PRISM, formed NSA head Michael Hayden jumps into the ring:

Last week, the Guardian published a series of leaked documents revealing new details about an NSA surveillance program called XKEYSCORE. The newspaper said that the program enabled the agency to “search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals,” and secret slides dated 2008 showed how people could be deemed a target for searching the Web for “suspicious stuff” or by using encryption.

Following the disclosures, Hayden appeared on CNN to discuss the agency’s surveillance programs. The general, who directed the NSA from 1999 through 2005, was remarkably candid in his responses to Erin Burnett’s questions about the Guardian’s XKEYSCORE report. Was there any truth to claims that the NSA is sifting through millions of browsing histories and able to collect virtually everything users do on the Internet?

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Canada Trying to One-Up the US: Warrantless Wiretapping Announced

Canada – always trying to one-up the United States – has announced it, too, will begin warrantless wiretapping of phones.

Parliamentary bill C-55 would allow police to wiretap telephones without a warrant in an “emergency.” The government has announced it will move ahead with the proposal after throwing civil rights campaigners a bone by agreeing to withdraw an even more controversial bill: C-30. That measure would have required internet service providers to maintain systems for police to “plug-in” to online communications to make sure naughty Canadians weren’t looking at anything they weren’t supposed to.

C-55 will proceed to a vote in the House of Commons in the near future. On the CBC website, commenter “stopnthink eh” observed:

“They can listen without a warrant if they feel like harm may come to one of the parties involved. They are obligated to tell you at 90 days from when this starts… unless they choose to extend it to 3 years before they notify you.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps

Reports Andy Greenberg on Forbes:
If Americans aren’t disturbed by phone carriers’ practices of handing over cell phone users’ personal data to law enforcement en masse–in many cases without a warrant–we might at least be interested to learn just how much that service is costing us in tax dollars: often hundreds or thousands per individual snooped. Earlier this week the American Civil Liberties Union revealed a trove of documents it had obtained through Freedom of Information Requests to more than 200 police departments around the country. They show a pattern of police tracking cell phone locations and gathering other data like call logs without warrants, using devices that impersonate cell towers to intercept cellular signals, and encouraging officers to refrain from speaking about cell-tracking technology to the public, all detailed in a New York Times story...
Continue Reading

FBI Wants Its GPS Back After Device Is Found By Student

Afterwards, agents told him not to worry ... because he's "boring"... but apparently he was just interesting enough to merit between 3 to 6 months of observation ... and a GPS tracker under his car. From Kim Zetter at Wired. Enjoy the article ... and consider its ramifications. GPS Tracking Device
A California student got a visit from the FBI this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car, and a friend posted photos of it online. The post prompted wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do.
It took just 48 hours to find out: The device was real, the student was being secretly tracked and the FBI wanted their expensive device back, the student told Wired.com in an interview Wednesday.
The answer came when half-a-dozen FBI agents and police officers appeared at Yasir Afifi’s apartment complex in Santa Clara, California, on Tuesday demanding he return the device.
Continue Reading

Obama Wants To Wiretap The Internet

Photo: David Drexler (CC)

Photo: David Drexler (CC)

This report from the New York Times is spreading like wildfire, especially amongst the conservative media like Fox News.

Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.

Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

The bill, which the Obama administration plans to submit to lawmakers next year, raises fresh questions about how to balance security needs with protecting privacy and fostering innovation.

Read the rest
Continue Reading