Apple Designing Servers In-House to Prevent Snooping

With the amount of sensitive information stored on their servers, cloud providers take security very seriously. However, many cloud services actually use third-party servers like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure to run their platform. Even for those with their own servers, the hardware is made by and supplied by third-parties. In light of security concerns, Apple is taking it to the next level and designing their own servers.

Right now, Apple uses Amazon, Microsoft and Google servers to help run iCloud in addition to their own hardware. While it might seem prudent to do everything in-house to keep things secure, Apple wants their servers to be designed themselves. As we know from Edward Snowden’s revelations, the NSA, and probably other spy agencies are prone to intercepting hardware mid-shipment and tampering with the hardware.  Cisco for instance, has been one own past target and with Apple’s legal fight against the FBI, they may have been moved up the list.

By designing their own hardware, Apple will be able to make sure that everything is where it is supposed to be and no hardware has been added to it. With the massive scale of iCloud, Apple will be able to easily have whole manufacturing runs dedicated to them. Still, with their massive user base, running that many servers will be will a challenge for Apple. Nonetheless, Apple may soon get the total hardware control truly needed for true security.

For One Day Ads Will Be Replaced By Anti-Censorship Messages

We all enjoy browsing the internet, viewing all your favourite sites and then suddenly you find a pop up appear advertising a new product that you “must buy” or a new game that you even get a “special offer” when you decide to close the window. The solution people use is an Ad blocker, making sure that only the sites we trust can show us adverts, but in a new move Amnesty International is teaming up with AdBlock to show support in the form of anti-censorship messages.

March 12th is World Day Against Cyber Censorship and to mark this day Amnesty International, one of the most well-known human rights organisations, is teaming up with AdBlock to replace ad’s with something a more thought-provoking.

Instead of Ad’s for the day you will receive messages from artist Ai Weiwei, Pussy Riot and Edward Snowden. With everyone the messages coming from being large, public and actively against government censorship.

AdBlock’s CEO Gabriel Cabbage says the concept is to provoke thoughts about online privacy and will only last a single day. In his statement, Cubbage encouraged people to “take a moment to consider that in an increasingly information-driven world, when your right to digital privacy is threatened, so is your right to free expression.”.

Snowden Speaks Out Regarding FBI’s Claim It Needs Apple To Unlock iPhone

Apple is currently under a lot of pressure from the US government, with the FBI looking to “request” their help in unlocking an iPhone. The problem people find is that the FBI are requesting Apple do something that Apple are not comfortable with, and as a result, have been ordered to do so under a very old and rather vague act. One of the most famous faces regarding the US Governments digital behaviour,  Edward Snowden, has now spoken out regarding the FBI’s claim it needs Apple to unlock the iPhone in question.

Speaking at a Conference via Video chat, Snowden stated the while the FBI say they need Apple’s ‘exclusive technical means’ to unlock the iPhone in question, he believes that claim is nothing more than lies.

The reason he says the FBI’s claim is rubbish is simply because several people have come forward with alternative methods for the FBI to gain access to the phone. It should be noted that Apple has already said they would have handed over the data if the FBI hadn’t tried to reset the iCloud password for the iPhone.

With the alternative methods not being mentioned at the congressional hearing regarding the FBI’s case for bypassing Apple’s security features, it would appear to many that the FBI are looking for a precedent to force companies to unlock their devices, something which they originally stated would not happen (but now appears to be the case).

You can view the conversation on surveillance, democracy and civil society in which Snowden spoke below.

NSA and GCHQ Worked Together to Hack Juniper Firewalls

Spies from the UK intelligence services worked with the US National Security Agency to hack firewalls developed by top internet security firm Juniper Networks, according to documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. GCHQ, wanting to crack Juniper’s encryption, specifically sought help from the NSA for that task, Russia Today reports. A series of secret documents, dating back to 2011, show that the pair were complicit in targeting Juniper – an industry leader in firewall technology in certain parts of the world – to compromise its systems.

The first document, entitled “Assessment of Intelligence Opportunity – Juniper”, outlines how GCHQ and NSA targeted Juniper in order to maintain its mass surveillance programs without being impeded.

“The threat comes from Juniper’s investment and emphasis on being a security leader,” the document reads. “If the SIGINT community falls behind, it might take years to regain a Juniper firewall or router access capability if Juniper continues to rapidly increase their security.”

The documents also shed light on why Juniper specifically was chosen as GCHQ’s prey: its firewalls are popular in countries Pakistan, Yemen, and China, all of which are of great interest to US and UK intelligence.

Snowden himself commented on the story, tweeting that the story had seemingly been suppressed by US news outlets.

Government Officials Blame Snowden Leaks for Paris Attacks

In the wake of the tragic and devastating attacks in Paris last week, many questioned why the authorities were unable to predict and stop the attacks. In fact, despite the wide-ranging and intrusive surveillance systems in place, the only whiff of intelligence was about a generalized threat against France. Now many officials are coming out across the spectrum and blaming Edward Snowden and his leaks for allowing the terrorists to go undetected.

Former director of the CIA James Woolsey has been among the most forceful, claiming Snowden “has blood on his hands” while current CIA director John Brennan blames the unauthorised disclosures as well. London Mayor Boris Johnson has also blamed Snowden for teaching the terrorists “how to avoid being caught”.

Encryption and methods of avoiding electronic detection, however, have not been new to the terrorist toolkit. Since before the 9/11 attacks and in the many that followed it, terrorists have used encryption and other methods of secure communication to co-ordinate. Those attacks all happened before Snowden even revealed the surveillance systems in place, revelations which only confirmed what many already believed the government was already doing. This is especially true of terrorists who knew they would be monitored and generally used methods to conceal themselves already, with Bin Laden famously using couriers only to communicate.

With the focus in recent days on backdoors, it would not be surprising to see pressure placed on Sony to allow monitoring of the PSN and PS4 given its use by the terrorists. Even if governments end up creating backdoors in many popular products, there will still be nothing to stop peer-to-peer encryption and other forms of encrypted communications from being used.

Edward Snowden Explains Why he Supports Ad-Blockers

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower-turned-press freedom advocate exiled in Russia after leaking NSA documents that demonstrated the terrifying scope of its mass surveillance program, has publicly endorsed ad-blocking software and has encouraged every internet user to employ it.

Speaking to The Intercept’s Micah Lee, Snowden, responding to the question “Do you think people should use adblock software?”, said, “We’ve seen internet providers like Comcast, AT&T, or whoever it is, insert their own ads into your plaintext http connections. … As long as service providers are serving ads with active content that require the use of Javascript to display, that have some kind of active content like Flash embedded in it, anything that can be a vector for attack in your web browser — you should be actively trying to block these.”

“Because if the service provider is not working to protect the sanctity of the relationship between reader and publisher,” he added. “you have not just a right but a duty to take every effort to protect yourself in response.”

While there are ethical arguments against the use of ad-blockers – mainly that users of ad-blocking software are depriving site owners of revenue – it makes sense, purely from a security perspective, for Snowden to recommend ad-blocking for all: anything that could potentially provide a backdoor into your computer is a threat, much like the recent worrying revelation that advertisers are tracking users over multiple devices via inaudible sounds.

Image courtesy of The Guardian.

Edward Snowden Joins Twitter – Only Follows NSA

“Can you hear me now?” The stark words of Edward Snowdens first tweet as he joins social media platform Twitter. The account went live recently, gaining 160,000 followers in less than an hour, a number that has skyrocketed to almost 900,000 in less than a day and continues to grow exponentially.

The simple message was retweeted 93,928 times, so it’s obviously something that resonates with his followers. He’s since been a little more vocal too, and given his nature of challenging the order of things, you can bet he’s not going to be a passive user of the platform.

As a slight tongue-in-cheek jab, Snowden only follows one Twitter page, @NSAGov; I’m sure they heard his message and any others loud and clear.

Even better, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Anonymous, WikiLeaks and more have started tweeting at him, sparking a few conversations that have sent Twitter into overload, making Edward Snowden one of the most interesting people to follow on the social media platform right now.

I’m looking forward to more updates from Snowden, if you want to stay tuned to the latest, you can follow him here @Snowden.

Snowden Files Cracked: Identities of US and UK Spies Revealed

Edward Snowden is a famous name in almost every house, his action was revealing the level of information and actions completed to get that information for US agencies, actions which he believed and has since been stated as illegal.

In the latest piece of news regarding the information revealed, its is now believed that both the Russian and Chinese Governments have managed to crack the encryption around several of the files and have been able to acquire information from them. The belief has caused MI6 to withdraw its agents from hostile countries overseas, although it is reported that no one has been harmed as a result of this information.

One source speaking on behalf of the U.K. Government stated, “It has meant agents have had to be moved and that knowledge of how we operate has stopped us getting vital information. There is no evidence of anyone being harmed.”.

The document not only outlines personnel operating abroad but also techniques used by British and American agents. With around 1 million classified files believed to now be accessible by foreign agencies, one Home office official accused Snowden of having blood on his hands.

Snowden is currently wanted for the crime of releasing confidential information and is seeking protection from extradition in Russia.

Thank you The Sunday Times and PCWorld for the information.

Image courtesy of Tech Week Europe.

Hollywood Wants Exception to Net Neutrality Rules to Fight Pirates

Hollywood thinks it’s special, and can play by its own rulebook in its fight against online piracy, so the latest move by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) to bypass Brazil’s “Internet Constitution” – essentially the country’s version of net neutrality legislation – in order to block pirates is very much in character. The MPA has appealed to Brazilian Justice Minister to amend the Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet (Marco Civil da Internet), still in its infancy, to allow special exceptions for choking traffic to notorious torrent sites.

In its appeal to Justice Minister José Eduardo Cardozo, the MPA writes:

“[Our] position is that the regulation should contain cases of exception to the general rule of net neutrality, enabling the judiciary to determine that traffic to a given illegal repository can be blocked.”

“The aforementioned suggestion is based on the premise that an adequate service must be in harmony with the possibility of allowing the judiciary to block access to content that, based on judicial scrutiny, is illegal for any reason, from a case of child pornography and trafficking of illegal substances, to the case of systematic disregard for the consumer and violation of intellectual property rights.”

The Marco Civil da Internet legislation has been in development since 2009 and is designed to protect online privacy and net neutrality. What the MPA is asking for is the addition of a “But…”, giving Hollywood studios the privilege – something the film industry is already swimming in – to abuse those privacy and net neutrality laws for the sake of money.

The new law has been in place for a year this month, and was fast-tracked after the Edward Snowden leak back in 2013. Amongst confidential documents revealed by Snowden were cables indicating that the US had been intercepting Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s private phone calls and e-mails, as well as digital data from Petrobras – Brazil’s biggest oil company – and millions of Brazilian citizens.

Thank you TorrentFreak for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of apcm.org

Donating to Snowden Now Illegal in the US; Guilty Parties Can Have Assets Seized

The White House has issued an emergency executive order that effectively prevents US citizens from donating money to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for fear of having their assets seized. The order is designed to choke funds for “malicious cyber-enabled activities” launched by persons outside of the United States.

Though the executive order – issued under the declaration of “a national emergency” by President Barack Obama – doesn’t mention Snowden by name, he is the highest profile figure affected by the ruling. Snowden, after revealing the extent of the indiscriminate mass surveillance undertaken by US intelligence and security services, was forced into exile in Russia, where he currently resides.

Section 2 of the order effectively states that by donating to parties considered to be involved in “malicious cyber-related activates” would impair the President’s ability to deal with this “national emergency”. It reads:

Sec. 2. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to section 1 of this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.

Sec. 3. The prohibitions in section 1 of this order include but are not limited to:

(a) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and

(b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

While section 7 warns anyone that does make such donations is at risk of having their assets seized by the US government:

Sec. 7. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.

The order is so vaguely worded and free of due process as to be open to abuse. If a US citizen gives money to someone that, in the opinion of the US Government, is considered guilty of “malicious cyber-enabled activities”, it can take that person’s possessions, with no prior warning and with no recourse, bypassing the judicial system entirely. Ironic, since it is this kind of abuse of power that Snowden felt he had to stand against.

Source: The White House

Tim Cook Praises Snowden, Responds to Questions About Apple Car

In case you hadn’t noticed, Apple’s Tim Cook has been on a global tour recently, visiting many places in Europe, including Germany and the UK, as well as other countries such as Israel. In Germany, he sat down to talk with BILD, one of the country’s biggest newspapers. In that interview, cook made some interesting remarks on a variety of issues, most intriguing were about Edward Snowden and also those rumours about an Apple car!

As for Snowden, Cook effectively praised the former NSA contractor, who in 2013 leaked thousands of classified documents revealing details about the US government’s spying programme. Cook, who is frequently heard talking about privacy issues, likened Snowden’s efforts to Apple’s values.

“If Snowden did anything for us at all, then it was to get us to talk more about these things. [Apple’s] values have always been the same.”

It really is quite significant that the CEO of the world’s largest company has praised a man some call a traitor. Snowden is a fugitive in the eyes of the US, and for Cook to associate his company with him like that is a big deal.

Beyond privacy, Cook was also pressed on future products, namely an Apple car. Recently we’ve seen a flurry of rumours suggesting that the company is hard at work producing a vehicle. The Wall Street Journal published extensive details, saying that there is a ‘Project Titan’ underway at Apple, with at least 1,000 employees working on it.

“We are still secretive about our coming products. So if you ask me what we are working on I’m not going to answer this question.” Asked about the Apple car, he replied simply: “I have read the rumours. I can’t comment on it.”

Ahh, not exactly a revelation, but interesting that he didn’t outright deny such a project. If a car was completely out of the question, Cook may well have laughed it off.

Source: 9to5Mac

Snowden Regrets Not Leaking Sooner

On Monday, whistleblower Edward Snowden held an AMA (As Me Anything) on reddit, during which he revealed that he wished he’d leaked details of the NSA’s spying programs sooner. When asked what his regrets regarding the last few years spent in exile in Russia were, Snowden replied:

“Had I come forward a little sooner, these programs would have been a little less entrenched, and those abusing them would have felt a little less familiar with and accustomed to the exercise of those powers. This is something we see in almost every sector of government, not just in the national security space, but it’s very important:

Once you grant the government some new power or authority, it becomes exponentially more difficult to roll it back.”

Snowden was celebrating the Oscar win of the documentary about him, Citizenfour, and held the AMA in conjunction with its director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Source: Gigaom

Snowden: US and UK Spies Hacked SIM Card Manufacturer

It’s been reported that spies from both the UK and the US hacked into a SIM card company. The information, once again coming from Edward Snowden, details efforts to steal codes that allowed the spies to eavesdrop on communications between phones and cell towers.

The company in question, Gemalto, produces SIM cards in 85 countries and chances are your SIM card was made by them. The hack provided the codes required to decrypt pretty much any communications between mobile phones.

With these stolen encryption keys, intelligence agencies can monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments. Possessing the keys also sidesteps the need to get a warrant or a wiretap, while leaving no trace on the wireless provider’s network that the communications were intercepted. The Intercept

The hack is unprecedented as it meant that GCHQ and the NSA had essentially given themselves the ability to capture any mobile communications from the air. Gemalto says that they “take this publication very seriously”.

“We take this publication very seriously and will devote all resources necessary to fully investigate and understand the scope of such highly sophisticated techniques to try to obtain Sim card data,” – Gemalto

Source: BBC News

GCHQ Breached Human Rights with Mass Internet Surveillance, Rules Court

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), Britain’s most secretive court, has ruled that British intelligence operations regarding internet mass surveillance were unlawful. GCHQ, the UK’s intelligence and security agency, has been found in breach of human rights laws. The unlawful information that GCHQ was in possession of came from the NSA, via its Prism information intercept programme.

The IPT posted an order to its website on Friday, reading, “The regime governing the soliciting, receiving, storing and transmitting by UK authorities of private communications of individuals located in the UK, which have been obtained by US authorities … contravened Articles 8 or 10” of the European convention on human rights (ECHR). Article 8 is the right to private and family life, while article 10 protects freedom of expression.

The initial challenge against GCHQ and the NSA came from a coalition of civil liberty groups, including Liberty and Privacy International.

“For far too long, intelligence agencies like GCHQ and NSA have acted like they are above the law,” said Eric King, deputy director of Privacy International. “Today’s decision confirms to the public what many have said all along – over the past decade, GCHQ and the NSA have been engaged in an illegal mass surveillance sharing programme that has affected millions of people around the world.”

“We must not allow agencies to continue justifying mass surveillance programmes using secret interpretations of secret laws. The world owes Edward Snowden a great debt for blowing the whistle, and today’s decision is a vindication of his actions.”

“But more work needs to be done. The only reason why the NSA-GCHQ sharing relationship is still legal today is because of a last-minute clean-up effort by the government to release previously secret ‘arrangements’. That is plainly not enough to fix what remains a massive loophole in the law, and we hope that the European court decides to rule in favour of privacy rather than unchecked state power.”

“We now know that, by keeping the public in the dark about their secret dealings with the NSA, GCHQ acted unlawfully and violated our rights,” added James Welsh, legal director for Liberty. “That their activities are now deemed lawful is thanks only to the degree of disclosure Liberty and the other claimants were able to force from our secrecy-obsessed government.”

“But the intelligence services retain a largely unfettered power to rifle through millions of people’s private communications – and the tribunal believes the limited safeguards revealed during last year’s legal proceedings are an adequate protection of our privacy. We disagree, and will be taking our fight to the European court of human rights.”

A spokesperson for GCHQ responded to the ruling, saying, “We are pleased that the court has once again ruled that the UK’s bulk interception regime is fully lawful. It follows the court’s clear rejection of accusations of ‘mass surveillance’ in their December judgement.”

Source: The Guardian

Spying Will Get ‘Ethically Worse’ if Unbreakable Encryption is Allowed

Sir David Omand, former head of British intelligence organisation GCHQ, warns that if end-to-end encryption is permitted, that methods of spying will become “ethically worse” to compensate.

Ormand said, “One of the results of Snowden is that companies are now heavily encrypting end-to-end. Intelligence agencies are not going to give up trying to get the bad guys. They will have to get closer to the bad guys. I predict we will see more close access work.”

“You can say that will be more targeted but in terms of intrusion into personal privacy — collateral intrusion into privacy — we are likely to end up in an ethically worse position than we were before.”

In essence, Ormand is saying that, if impenetrable encryption is allowed to continue, intelligence services will start playing dirty, but without taking any responsibility for their actions, using uncrackable data as an excuse, effectively saying, “They made us do it”.

Thankfully, Ormand has confirmed that if users want their data transmissions safe, then end-to-end encryption is the way to ensure it.

Source: TechDirt

Snowden: GCHQ Hacked Journalist Emails

New information is continually being leaked by Edward Snowden and today is no exception. It appears that the British GCHQ hacked over 70,000 emails belonging to journalists.

The emails of journalists at the BBC, Le Monde, The New York Times and The Washington Post were intercepted in a test to research ways of hacking fibre-optic cables in 2008. What’s more, all of those emails were made accessible on the GCHQ intranet for all “cleared staff”.

According to The Guardian,  many of the emails were “simple mass-PR emails sent to dozens of journalists,” while others consisted of private discussions between staff concerning stories.

Why? Well, according to this latest leak, GCHQ identified investigative journalists as a threat to national security, up there with hackers and terrorists – something many journalists won’t be too happy with.

Snowden, who is still hiding from the US government, continues to leak new information from his time at the US National Security Agency.

 

Snowden Documents Reveal How GCHQ Tracked iPhones, in 2010

New information is continually being leaked by Edward Snowden and today is no exception. He’s revealed how the British GCHQ managed to track iPhones in 2010, using a system Apple has since deprecated.

Der Spiegel says that the agency used UDIDs (Unique Device Identifier) used by iPhones and iPads to track the activities of their users. By tracking the numbers, they could see what sites a target visited on the web and they could access more comprehensive data by hacking a computer with which the iPhone synced with.

The process behind this ‘exploit’ says a number of things about Apple’s security measures, as this was a relatively complex and incomplete way of tracking someone’s activities. iOS devices have always had a reputation for being heavily resistant to malware, so it’s no surprise that intelligence agencies had to go to these lengths to get the information they required.

It’s also worth pointing out that Apple no-longer uses the UDID system to recognise iOS devices – not surprising.

Now Your Presentations Can Look As Bad As The NSA’s

Most have us under a certain age were lectured in school on how to produce a decent presentation – not to write too much content on one slide, not to use so many zany fonts and graphics… the list goes on. The thing is, the slides produced by the NSA and leaked by Edward Snowdon in 2013 seemed to go against all of those rules.

They were laughable with their silly fonts, backgrounds and poor graphics. Many of them had tons of pointless information on one slide, with little to no sense of design.

Well finally your presentations can look just as bad. Julian Oliver of the Post-Digital Publishing Archive has produced the following Libre Office templates to allow you to come up with your own evil surveillance plans. Fake ones of course.

Source: Fast Co. Design Via: p-dpa.net

Spying Techniques Exposed by Snowden Deemed Lawful by UK Watchdog

Since Edward Snowden leaked details of ethically-questionable spying techniques used by three UK intelligence agencies last year, civil rights groups such as Anmesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union declared the techniques incompatible with the UK Human Rights Act. However, after an investigation into whether these techniques breached human rights, the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal has declared that they “are satisfied that this is not the case.”

“We have ruled that the current regime, both in relation to Prism and Upstream (another NSA program) when conducted in accordance with the requirements which we have considered, is lawful and human rights-compliant,” said the IPT.

Rachel Logan, legal adviser for Amnesty UK, scoffed, claiming, “The government has managed to bluff their way out of this, retreating into closed hearings and constantly playing the ‘national security’ card.” She said that Amnesty would be challenging the decision in the European Court of Human Rights.

Source: Daily News Now

UK and US Said to be Behind ‘Regin’ Malware

Yesterday we reported on Regin, a new piece of malware, said to be one of “the most sophisticated” pieces of malicious software ever seen. Well today, experts have come out to suggest that the software may have been used by British and American spy agencies – GCHQ and the NSA, respectively.

Security industry sources told The Interept that Regin is “behind sophisticated cyberattacks conducted by U.S. and British intelligence agencies on the European Union and a Belgian telecommunications company.” 

They say that the software was discovered on Belgacom’s networks – a major telecoms network in Belgium, suggesting that the software was used to spy on the personnel at the offices of the European Union.

It was Edward Snowden who revealed earlier spying on Belgacom by the UK and on EU computers by the NSA. It certainly seems that this software may well have been part of those efforts.

Source: Gizmodo

Snowden Granted a 3 Year Residence Permit in Russia

Looks like legendary whistle blower Edward Snowden will be kicking it Russian style for a good while longer, as his lawyer reveals that he has just received a residence permit which will allow him to stay in the country for another three years starting from August 1st this month. His lawyer also added that Snowden had not asked for political asylum.

“He will be able to travel freely within the country and go abroad. He’ll be able to stay abroad for not longer than three months,” Kucherena said. Adding that we can expect Snowden to hold a press conference some time soon.

This development will also mean that Snowden can apply for Russian Citizenship in five years time. Although he is undecided on whether he wishes to do so.

“A foreign citizen, who got a residence permit, will certainly be able to apply for citizenship,” Kucherena said. “By all means he is homesick,” his lawyer said. “It was hard for him to find himself far from home, especially for the first time. Of course, in the future Edward will make up his mind on whether to stay in Russia and apply for citizenship or to leave for the US. He hasn’t done this yet.” he added.

Of course Snowden is in no rush to step foot on American soil just yet, given that there is a chance he’ll end up having an unfortunate and mysterious accident. However he has said that is he does one day travel back to the US, it’s not going to be an extradition. No extradition is possible under Russian law,” said his lawyer. “He has not committed any crime. He faces no charges in Russia.”

Thank you RT for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of RT.

Edward Snowden Plans on Working with Russia to Develop Anti-Spy Technology

Following his calling to hackers all over the world and instigating them to work on anti-spyware technology, ex-NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, has now stated that he will be working with Russia in order to develop anti-surveillance technology aimed at divulging government spy operations around the world. He is stated to have asked support in his ‘quest’ at the Moscow Hackers on Planet Earth conference.

“We the people — you the people, you in this room right now — have both the means and the capability to improve the future by encoding our rights into programs and protocols by which we rely every day,” he said. “And that’s what a lot of my future work is going to be involved in, and I hope you’ll join me in making that a reality.”

Following his statement in Moscow, ZDNet has apparently reported that he also made another telelink remark to the New York City attendees, while also taking some time to defend his activities involving leaked government information.

“If we’re going to have a democracy and an enlightened citizenry, if we’re going to provide the consent of the governed, we have to know what is gong on, we have to know the broad outlines of a policy, and we can’t have the government shut us out from every action that they’re doing”

Thank you Washington Times for providing us with this information

Edward Snowden Can “Live” With Idea He Could Be Sent to Gitmo


Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden said he could live with himself if he returned to the United States and was sent to Guantanamo Bay.

Snowden said the comments during a recent interview with The Guardian, as the American security specialist becomes more vocal in media interviews and at conferences (via video).

The idea that Snowden believes in his action so much that he says it’d be worth Guantanamo Bay, supporters think he should be rewarded – and not punished – for his actions.

It seems unlikely Snowden could return back to the United States, which he wants to do one day, and receive a fair trial from the U.S. government.  Facing charges ranging from theft of government property to unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified intelligence to unauthorized personnel, there is serious jail time waiting if found guilty.

Snowden was only granted asylum in Russia after his plans to head to Central or South America became difficult when the U.S. suspended his passport.

U.S. and British lawmakers largely have expressed anger towards Snowden and his actions, but trying to prosecute him might be difficult.  Russia is reportedly set to extend his visa so he can continue to live near Moscow, while the U.S. wants him to face charges.

However, there have been rumblings for security experts in the United States and UK to develop anti-surveillance technologies to prevent snooping.

Thank you to Vice News for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of NBC News

Collecting Nude Photos a “Fringe Benefit” for NSA Employees, Says Snowden

Edward Snowden is back once again with his catalogue of “you’ll never guess what the NSA are doing” quotes. This time revealing that nude photos which were intercepted by the NSA are often passed around the offices by their younger employees as a “fringe benefit”. In an interview with The Guardian, Snowden revealed this image sharing trend when asked which specific examples of American surveillance had troubled him.

“You’ve got young enlisted guys, 18 to 22 years old. “They’ve suddenly been thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all of your private records. Now, in the course of their daily work they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work in any sort of necessary sense, for example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation – But they’re extremely attractive.” said Snowden.

“So what do they do? They turn around in their chair and show their co-worker and their co-worker says: ‘Oh hey, that’s great. Send that to Bill down the way.’ And then Bill sends it to George, George sends it to Tom and sooner or later this person’s whole life has been seen by other people. It’s never reported. Nobody knows about it because the auditing of these systems is incredibly weak.” he added

“The fact that your private images, records of your private lives, records of your intimate moments have been taken from your private communications stream from the intended recipient and given to the government without any specific authorization without any specific need is itself a violation of your rights. Why is that in a government database?”

It’s really just adding insult to injury, not only are people’s rights being violated by such heavy surveillance anyway, but they’re being further abused for personal gratifications. This new revelation is just adding further troubles to reports such as the one of an NSA employee reading private communications of a former girlfriend on his first day of the job. It’s bad enough that people have this power, but to then use it so wastefully is even worse.

Thank you Independent for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Falkvinge.

All Snowden Files Rumored To Be Published in July

Multiple tweets from the digital library site Cryptome indicates that further, if not all, of Edward Snowden’s NSA files will be published later on this month. Vague ‘predictions’ on the site indicate that “during July all Snowden docs released”, followed by “July is when war begins unless headed off by Snowden full release of crippling intel. After war begins not a chance of release,”.

Other indications from Cryptome point to two upcoming events, the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE) event in New York City starting July 18, and the Aspen Institute’s yearly Security Forum following after the previous event, where former NSA directors Keith Alexander and Michael Hayden have been stated to attend. Former United States Department of Defense staff person, Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the “Pentagon Papers” during the Vietnam War, is rumored to have a role in the possible Cryptome release. He is apparently scheduled to a keynote address at HOPE, having Cryptome tweeting that whoever wants more information about the Snowden docs should stayed tuned to that event for his speech and another from a ‘special’ guest.

In addition to the given information, it appears that a journalist from Vocativ has been in contact with Cryptome in order to get more details. His correspondence with the founder of Cryptome appears to have a back and forth approach to whether or not the events will be the point of release for the Snowden documents. There is however a reference to a ‘kick-spy’ Kickstarter camping started by the site last month, having raised already over $14,000.

A more interesting statement is seen at the end of the correspondence, where it says that “all of the documents will be released to kickstart the war on terrorism, in Iraq, in Iran, in North Korea, in the Holy Land, across Africa, Caribbean Drug Sea, the US-Mexican border, and the areas of operations always on alert in DC, Fort Meade and Colorado Springs.”

Vocativ has also released an article based on the given information. The most notable fact in the given article is said to be that Cryptome’s founder “has also ducked inquiries about how (or from whom) Cryptome received the document,” and “did not respond directly to questions about what the content of those leaked documents would reveal, other than to say that there may exist some ‘technical documents’ used ‘to combat technology’ of spying well beyond those promoted for ‘public debate’.”.

Thank you RT for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of RT

Sobieski Vodka Banking on Edward Snowden’s Notoriety to Help Sell Vodka

Polish distiller Sobieski Vodka is using former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s international notoriety in its latest marketing campaign.

Advertisements aimed at the United States has the following slogan: “Why Edward Snowden wishes he’d sought asylum in Poland.”

It’s a clever marketing effort by Sobieski, as Snowden is a recognizable name in the United States following outing organized NSA spying activities. The ads are showing up on billboards, bus stops, wallscapes, taxi ads, and other visible locations.

Imperial Brands imports Sobieski and is part of the company’s multi-million dollar marketing campaign that is ongoing.  Here is what Timo Sutinen, Imperial Brands Vice President of Marketing said in an interview with Food & Beverage Magazine:

“Sobieski proudly differentiates itself from the general lack of substance – whether in liquid or marketing campaigns – embraced by so many vodkas today. We offer a superior product at superior value and don’t need to generate appeal with contrived gimmicks. Because of that, we have a lot of fun sharing our point of view with the world, and this campaign is a great example.”

Snowden is currently living in Russia, after President Vladimir Putin granted him temporary asylum after fleeing the United States.

Thank you to Business Insider for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of imgur