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NSA spying may be harming American tech companies’ bottom line

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.

Closing arguments in Bradley Manning court-martial paint Wikileaks source as glory-seeking traitor

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.

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US lawmakers vote against legislation to curb NSA's spying program

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:

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Edward Snowden's yet-unleaked leaks could be USA's 'worst nightmare,' says Glenn Greenwald (updated)

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.

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Snowden renews Russia asylum plea, en route to South America: a recap, with audio and video


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.

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Leftie extremist rag The Wall Street Journal comes out against NSA surveillance

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 12

S. American nations to recall ambassadors from Europe over Bolivian Snowden-panic plane incident

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.

How the US forces internet companies to cooperate on spying, or else

"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 2

Holder tightens rules for secretly obtaining reporters' phone logs, emails

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 4

Latin American governments' outrage over US spying ignores their own

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 for more.

In final phase of Bradley Manning trial, a defense of Wikileaks

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.

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Germans compare Stasi to NSA by data volume, guess who wins?

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 2

An open letter from Edward Snowden's father, to his son

"Thomas Paine, the voice of the American Revolution, trumpeted that a patriot saves his country from his government. What you have done and are doing has awakened congressional oversight of the intelligence community from deep slumber; and, has already provoked the introduction of remedial legislation in Congress to curtail spying abuses under section 215 of the Patriot Act and section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. You have forced onto the national agenda the question of whether the American people prefer the right to be left alone from government snooping." Read the full letter published by Edward Snowden's dad, addressed to his son. [www.guardian.co.uk] Xeni 4

Ecuador: our London embassy was bugged

Representatives of the government of Ecuador in London claim to have discovered a hidden microphone inside its London embassy where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is living. The bug is being analyzed by forensics experts, and Ecuador intends to diclose more information on who controlled or planted it as they are available. It "was found inside the office of the Ecuadorean ambassador to the United Kingdom, Ana Alban, at the time of a visit to the embassy by Patino to meet with Assange on June 16." [Reuters] Xeni 1

China's version of the NSA's Prism: Golden Shield

"China’s surveillance system is extremely wild, there are no rules governing it that are worth speaking of,” says a Beijing lawyer named Xie Yanyi, who filed a public information request with the police to reveal how China’s own surveillance operations work. The New York Times reports that "he filed the request as a private citizen, said there were three programs in particular he wanted to know more about: Golden Shield, Great Wall and Green Dam." Xeni