Category Archives: Surveillance Watch

Security Analyst: Tech Companies could go “dark” to regain trust


There is definitely a motivation for major technology companies to provide a verifiably secure means of allowing users to communicate securely without an ability for the companies to provide access to security agencies, even if requested to. Two companies, Silent Circle and Lavabit, have come together to form the Dark Mail alliance in an attempt to do exactly this.

Security analyst Bruce Schneier has outlined five pieces of advice for those wishing to remain secure from the NSA and other agencies.

Read original article at

Germans See Snowden as Hero, US Less Reliable as Partner


Germans lose trust in US, see NSA whistleblower Snowden as hero – pollSixty percent of Germans now see Eric Snowden as a hero, though the country was evenly split on whether he should be given asylum in Germany, if asked.

via Only 35 percent still see Washington as a reliable partner – a drop of 14 percent since July, according to a survey conducted by public broadcaster ARD and Die Welt daily. This year’s figures are a massive drop from the situation at the start of President Barack Obama’s presidency, when he was given an enthusiastic welcome on his first official visit to Berlin, and 76 percent of Germans said they trusted the US government in a Nov. 2009 poll. 

The Basis for the NSA’s Call-Tracking Program Has Disappeared, If It Ever Existed [Updated]

Via Just, Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director at the American Civil Liberties Union and Director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy writes:

There’s a significant discrepancy, one that deserves more attention, between what the NSA told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court five years ago about the call-tracking program and what the agency is telling ordinary federal courts about the program now.  It told the FISC five years ago that the program was indispensable, but it’s saying something quite different today.

NSA Back Doors Increase Our Vulnerability to Cyber Attack

A Carnegie Mellon University release reports that Peha, a professor of engineering and public policy and former chief technology officer of the FCC and assistant director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology, said deliberately weakening commercial products and services may make it easier for U.S. intelligence agencies to conduct surveillance, but “this strategy also inevitably makes it easier for criminals, terrorists and foreign powers to infiltrate these systems for their own purposes.” Peha pointed out that cybersecurity vulnerabilities created to eavesdrop on terrorists could have vast unintended consequences.

CEPS: Privacy vs Security Out of Balance with NSA and GCHQ

File:GCHQ logo.png

Via the Guardian: The authors of a new study on mass-scale surveillance from CEPS have accused the intelligence services of the US and EU countries of violating European law and urged the European parliament to take action….

…They said the EU parliament should threaten to block an EU-US free trade agreement unless the NSA and GCHQ disclose the full nature of their surveillance programmes.

From the About Us page at the CEPS website:

Founded in Brussels in 1983, the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) is among the most experienced and authoritative think tanks operating in the European Union today. CEPS serves as a leading forum for debate on EU affairs, but its most distinguishing feature lies in its strong in-house research capacity, complemented by an extensive network of partner institutes throughout the world.

Read original article at The Guardian

Download CEPS Study at their website.

Dianne Feinstein Defends NSA Overreach


Big Brother’s Loyal Sister: How Dianne Feinstein Is Betraying Civil Liberties


Feinstein’s essay — touting her new bill, the “FISA Improvements Act,” which she just pushed through the Senate Intelligence Committee — claimed that the legislation will “bridge the gap between preventing terrorism and protecting civil liberties.” But as Electronic Frontier Foundation activist Trevor Timm writes, the bill actually “codifies some of the NSA’s worst practices, would be a huge setback for everyone’s privacy, and it would permanently entrench the NSA’s collection of every phone record held by U.S. telecoms.”