"The top secret payments are set out in documents which make clear that the Americans expect a return on the investment, and that GCHQ has to work hard to meet their demands. 'GCHQ must pull its weight and be seen to pull its weight,' a GCHQ strategy briefing said." -The Guardian
Democratic congressman Alan Grayson is leading a bipartisan group of representatives concerned about "constant misleading information" from the intelligence community. They're holding a hearing Wednesday
, at which critics of the National Security Agency's spying programs will speak. One of them is Glenn Greenwald, who will participate remotely from Brazil. I'm sure the NSA will want to listen in on that line. — Xeni
At CNET, Declan McCullagh reports that the U.S. government has demanded
that large Internet companies provide them with users' stored passwords. The move represents "an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed," he writes. "If the government is able to determine a person's password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user." [CNET News] — Xeni
There's been much speculation that Edward Snowden
's revelations about the NSA spying program PRISM have damaged U.S. tech companies' credibility among international clients who were the operation's primary targets. But Andrea Peterson at the Washington Post writes that
"it’s starting to look like the snooping is hitting U.S.-based cloud providers where it really hurts: Their pocketbooks."
Computer World UK reports a recent Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) survey found 10 percent of 207 officials at non-U.S. companies canceled contracts with U.S. providers after the leaks, and 56 percent of non-U.S. respondents are now hesitant to work with U.S.-based cloud operators. This is bad news for U.S. tech companies because cloud computing and storage is a huge, expanding market. Research firm Gartner forecasts the public cloud services market will grow 18.5 percent in 2013 to a total of $131 billion worldwide.
Inside a small courthouse on the Army base in Fort Meade, Maryland, Army prosecutors are presenting closing arguments in their case against Pfc. Bradley Manning, who leaked hundreds of thousands of government documents to Wikileaks.
According to Maj. Ashden Fein today, the 25-year-old former intel analyst betrayed his country’s trust and handed government secrets to Julian Assange in search of fame and glory, knowing that in doing so, the material would be made visible to Al Qaeda and its then-leader Osama bin Laden.
Read the rest
In Washington, the House voted against legislation [PDF] that would have stopped the National Security Agency from gathering vast amounts of phone records. Here's a breakdown of which reps were for and against, so our US readers can see how their elected representative voted. The result handed the Obama administration "a hard-fought victory in the first congressional showdown over the N.S.A.'s surveillance activities since Edward J. Snowden’s security breaches last month," write Jonathan Weisman and Charlie Savage in the New York Times:
Read the rest
Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who was first to publish the documents that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked about the US government's surveillance programs, gave an interview to the Argentinean daily La Nacion.
Read the rest
Photo: Sarah Harrison of Wikileaks, next to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Photo by Polona Frelih, of Delo.si, who attended the closed-door meeting held by Snowden with human rights NGOs at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.
Ellen Barry, New York Times Moscow correspondent, in her wrap-up of a dramatic day in the Edward Snowden story:
In a high-profile spectacle that had the hallmarks of a Kremlin-approved event, Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive American intelligence contractor, broke his silence after three weeks of seclusion on Friday, telling a handpicked group of Russian public figures that he hoped to receive political asylum in Russia.
No press were permitted inside the meeting; no photographers, no recordings, no audio, no video.
But this audio of the meeting has surfaced, and there's a 30-second video snippet, too.
Read the rest
Randy Barnett at the WSJ: "The NSA's Surveillance Is Unconstitutional
." When you've lost WSJ contributors on issues thought to be of concern only to privacy-freak-lefties, guys: you've lost the battle. — Xeni
Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay will withdraw their ambassadors from European countries involved in last week's grounding of the Bolivian president’s plane. The incident was sparked by false rumors that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board.
We've taken a number of actions in order to compel public explanations and apologies from the European nations that assaulted our brother Evo Morales," explained Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, who revealed some of the agenda debated during the 45th summit of Mercosur countries in Uruguay's capital, Montevideo.
RT News has more
"By wielding a potent legal threat, the U.S. government is often able to force Internet companies to aid its surveillance demands. The threat? Comply or we'll implant our own eavesdropping devices on your network." Declan McCullagh at CNET News
writes about the real-time "electronic surveillance" orders the NSA can serve to 'net service providers for investigations related to terrorism or national security. — Xeni
Charlie Savage at the NY Times
writes about Friday's announcement by US Attorney General Eric Holder of "new guidelines that would significantly narrow the circumstances under which journalists’ records could be obtained." Here's a PDF of the new guidelines
. — Xeni
Some of the same Latin American nations whose presidents are shocked and outraged over newly-revealed details of America's electronic surveillance programs are conducting versions of the same within their own borders. And in some cases, the US helped them create their domestic spying infrastructure. Tim Johnson at McClatchy reports
At least four Latin countries have requested, and received, U.S. help in setting up eavesdropping programs of their own, ostensibly designed to fight organized crime. But the programs are easily diverted to political ends, and with weak rule of law in parts of the region, wiretapping scandals erupt every few months.
And read this earlier Boing Boing feature on one such program in Venezuela
Charlie Savage at the New York Times covers proceedings in the court-martial of PFC Bradley Manning
at Ft. Meade, on the day the defense rested its case. The final witness for the defense was Harvard law professor Yochai Benkler, who authored this widely-cited paper on WikiLeaks
. Benkler testified that the organization served a legitimate journalistic role when Manning leaked it some 700,000 or more secret government files.
Read the rest
The Stasi versus the NSA
: "How much space would the filing cabinets of the Stasi and the NSA consume if the NSA would print their 5 zettabytes?" [in German, via @ioerror
] — Xeni