In Africa, British spies target allied leaders, executives, and telcoms engineers

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Le Monde has published a new collection of documents from the whistleblower Edward Snowden, showing that the British spy agency GCHQ targeted the leaders of allied countries in Africa, as well as business executives and employees of telecommunications companies, whose accounts were a means to gaining access to communications infrastructure across the continent. Read the rest

Learning about the internal culture of the NSA from 262 leaked articles from its internal employee newsletter

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The Intercept continues its work analyzing SID Today, the NSA's internal employee newsletter, with a fresh release of 262 articles -- these are in addition to the 166 articles published last spring. Read the rest

Pirate Party invited to form Iceland's next government

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Though the October polls that predicted a great showing for the Pirate Party in the Icelandic elections turned out to be wrong, that election did end with a deeply divided parliament that has been unable to find enough common ground upon which to form a new government. Read the rest

Projecting leaked NSA docs on the side of AT&T's windowless NYC spy-center

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Earlier this month, Henrik Moltke helped report the extent to which the massive, windowless, bombproof AT&T tower at 33 Thomas Street was implicated in illegal NSA surveillance of US and international communications, revealing that the tower was almost certainly the site referred to as TITANPOINTE in Snowden docs. Read the rest

Snowden's lawyer says he'll testify about German surveillance...if Germany gets him safe passage out of Russia

An official German government committee of inquiry investigating the illegal surveillance that Edward Snowden revealed has asked Snowden to testify before it, the German Federal Court of Justice has ordered the German government to offer Snowden safe passage to Germany to do so, or admit to illegal spying. Read the rest

The Snoopers Charter is now law in the UK: "extreme surveillance" rules the land

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Britain's love-affair with mass surveillance began under the Labour government, but it was two successive Conservative governments (one in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, who are nominally pro-civil liberties) who took Tony Blair's mass surveillance system and turned it into a vicious, all-powerful weapon. Now, their work is done. Read the rest

America's top spy won't stick around to watch Donald Trump wield his doomsday device

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James Clapper, the US Director of National Intelligence, has tendered his resignation. He says he will serve through the handover to the new administration, whereupon Donald Trump will inherit an arsenal of cyberweapons and a $52B/year army of 107,000 secret, unaccountable spies that Clapper has strengthened and emboldened in one of the most sustained and successful exercises in empire-building in US governmental history. Read the rest

A madman has been given the keys to the surveillance state

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When the USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law on October 26, 2001, it erased many of the vital checks and balances that stood between the American people and their government. As Bush supporters cheered the unprecedented power that their people in Washington now held, the civil liberties world warned them: "Your president has just fashioned a weapon that will be wielded by all who come after him."

Police in Quebec are spying on journalists and Snowden calls that "a threat to democracy"

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Last week, Patrick Lagacé -- a columnist for the Quebec paper La Presse -- revealed that the Montreal police had gotten a secret warrant to spy on his phone calls and text messages and collect the location data from his phone, seemingly in an attempt to discover which police officers were the source for stories in La Presse about police corruption (confusingly, Lagacé wasn't involved in these stories). Read the rest

Snowden to journalists: your best defense is legal limits on spying, not crypto

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Edward Snowden videoconferenced with a journalism roundtable at Editors Lab participants at Süddeutsche Zeitung (home of the Panama Papers) about the effect of state surveillance on a free press. Read the rest

The Pirate Party are poised to form Iceland's government in Saturday's election

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Last April, the Icelandic government nearly toppled when Parliament was dissolved, after the Panama Papers revealed that Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson was laundering money with Mossack Fonseca -- only fear of the popular groundswell for the Pirate Party drove the establishment to keep the government limping along -- until now. Read the rest

Snowden on Allo: It's “Google Surveillance,” so “Don't use” messaging and personal assistant app

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Edward Snowden's take on Allo is “Nope.” Google's decision to back off a previously promised privacy feature for Allo earned it a thumbs-down from the NSA whistleblower, who received asylum from Russia after exposing the NSA's secret domestic surveillance programs. Allo, a personal messaging and assistance app which lacks previously promised security safeguards, amounts to “Google Surveillance,” Snowden tweeted Wednesday. So “Don't use Allo.”

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Netzpolitik publishes more damning, leaked German surveillance reports, despite previous treason prosecution

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Netzpolitik is an amazing German activist/journalist organization; in 2015, they braved a treason investigation by publishing Snowden docs that showed that the German intelligence services were conducting illegal surveillance and illegally collaborating with the NSA; now they've done it again, publishing a new leaked oversight report on spying at the Bad Aibling surveillance station. Read the rest

Oliver Stone's "Snowden" is great entertainment and an important argument for pardon

L: Edward Snowden. R: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who portrays Snowden in Oliver Stone's film.

I just saw Oliver Stone's Snowden. It's an excellent film, no doubt, and also an important rebuttal to ongoing efforts by propagandists to limit America's conversation to who Edward Snowden is, rather than what this whistleblower revealed.

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Washington Post: first newspaper ever to call for prosecution of its own source

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The Washington Post was one of the newspapers that participated in the initial Snowden disclosures; Barton Gellman won a well-deserved Pulitzer for his work on them -- but now the paper's editorial board have called on the US government to imprison Edward Snowden, making it the first paper in US history to demand the prosecution of its own source, specifically to punish him for bringing them the story they published. Read the rest

French spy boss admits France cyberattacked Iran, Canada, Spain, Greece, Norway, Ivory Coast, Algeria, and others

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Bernard Barbier presided over DGSE, France's answer to NSA, during the agency's period of fast growth, spending €500M and adding 800 new staffers; in a recent speech to a French engineering university Ecole Centrale Paris, Barbier spilled a ton of secrets, apparently without authorisation. Read the rest

Edward Snowden sets out the moral case for a pardon from Obama

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Whistleblower Edward Snowden, exiled in Moscow, has asked the outgoing US president Barack Obama to give him an official pardon before leaving office. Read the rest

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