The Intercept, the "fearless, adversarial journalism" venture launched by Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media, launched with a big boom today.
Lead story on the site right now, which is https by default (and straining under launch day load at the moment) explores "The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program."
The Intercept will initially focus on NSA stories based on documents provided by Edward Snowden, and this is one such story.
"The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes," Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald report, "An unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people."
As Redditor actual_hacker said in a thread, the big point of this article: "The US has built a SIM-card kill list. They're shooting missiles at cell phones without caring about who is holding the phone. That is why so many innocent people keep getting killed. That is what this story is about. The next time someone says "it's just metadata," remember this story. Innocent people die because of NSA's use of metadata: the story cites 14 women and 21 children killed in just one operation. All because of metadata."
Like the NSA, you can follow the journalists at The Intercept on Twitter, via this handy list.
Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX, @JohnCornyn, +1 202-224-2934] introduced the Building America’s Trust Act as a “long-term border security and interior enforcement strategy” but refused to release the bill’s text, which has now leaked.
A group of researchers from Oxford and TU Berlin will present their paper, White-Stingray: Evaluating IMSI Catchers Detection Applications at the Usenix Workshop on Offensive Technologies, demonstrating countermeasures that Stingray vendors could use to beat Stingrays and other “cell-site simulators” (AKA IMSI catchers).
This summer, two of the west coast’s largest metropolitan areas—Seattle and California—took major steps to curtail secret, unilateral surveillance by local police. These victories for transparency and community control lend momentum toward sweeping reforms pending across California, as well as congressional efforts to curtail unchecked surveillance by federal authorities.
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