Edward Snowden Stories November 3, 2015

Edward Snowden, the famed leaker of many a confidential NSA document, clearly needs some kind of encrypted communication medium. Yesterday, he came out on Twitter to say that at least one of the apps he uses is called Signal every day. And it just so happens that the app, which has been available on the iPhone for quite a while, is now available for Android…. expand full story

Edward Snowden Stories May 19, 2015

Google among those asking Obama to reject calls for government access to encrypted data

Google and Apple have co-signed a letter calling on President Obama to reject any government proposal to allow the government backdoor access to encrypted data on smartphones and other devices. The Washington Post says the letter, due to be delivered today, is signed by more than 140 tech companies, prominent technologists and civil society groups.

The signatories urge Obama to follow the group’s unanimous recommendation that the government should “fully support and not undermine efforts to create encryption standards” and not “in any way subvert, undermine, weaken or make vulnerable” commercial software.

The FBI has been pushing increasingly hard to require tech companies to build in backdoor access to their encryption systems to allow access by law enforcement, even going so far as to say that Apple could be responsible for the death of a child. a NY District Attorney has also cited public safety as justification for demanding access to encrypted data.

The letter calling on Obama to reject this argument is also signed by five members of a presidential review group appointed by Obama in 2013 to assess technology policies in the wake of leaks by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Many in the tech industry have pointed out that, aside from the obvious concerns over government intrusion into the private lives of its citizens, any backdoor used by the government could potentially be discovered and exploited by hackers and foreign governments.

Edward Snowden Stories April 14, 2015

Prankster games Google Maps business listing to place Edward Snowden in the White House

A prankster has gamed the Google Maps business listing function to make it appear that NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden is resident in the White House.

Google said that the listing, first spotted by Marketing Landwas originally verified for a snowboard shop of that name elsewhere, with the location subsequently edited. Either the prankster or others have added reviews, one of which says that it’s a “great source of classified information.”

Google says that it has removed the listing, but it was still showing up (as above) in Google Maps at the time of writing.

Edward Snowden Stories March 26, 2015

patriot-act-reform

Google is one of ten tech giants to once again call on the US Government not to reauthorize the Patriot Act in its current form. The Act expires on 1st June unless it is renewed by Congress. Google was joined by Apple, AOL, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo.

In an open letter to President Obama, NSA Director Admiral Rogers and other prominent government figures, the companies urge Congress to end the bulk collection of communications metadata–the logs that determine how and when ordinary citizens contact each other.

The letter says that mass surveillance must end, and that a revised bill must contain mechanisms to ensure that future government surveillance is both transparent and accountable …  expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Edward Snowden Stories January 27, 2014

New documents leaked by Edward Snowden and reported by The New York TimesThe Guardian and ProPublica detail how the NSA and its British counterpart can collect users’ personal data through smartphone apps. The reports specifically mention popular apps like Angry Birds, Twitter, Google Maps and Facebook and claim the NSA is capable of intercepting information ranging from location, age, and sex of users to address books, buddy lists, phone logs, geographic data and more: expand full story

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