Privacy is one of the single most important issues of our time.
Apple is making it a top-tier, customer-facing feature and hoping it becomes a major competitive advantage. Because 'privacy' can seem ephemeral, and doesn't have the obvious value of money, so many of us trade it away with little or no thought. Humor and satire can often covey truth in a way no other medium can. Such is the case with John Oliver and this overview of the U.S. Patriot Act and interview with Edward Snowden.
Update: A new report in The Intercept claims that Gemalto is drastically downplaying the effects of this attack. In the report, several security researchers came to the conclusion that "the company made sweeping, overly-optimistic statements about the security and stability of Gemalto's networks, and dramatically underplayed the significance of the NSA-GCHQ targeting of the company and its employees."
Original story: Digital security vendor Gemalto revealed its findings today following last week's report of an incursion by the NSA and the GCHQ into the vendor's SIM card encryption keys. While Gemalto noted that an operation by NSA and GCHQ "probably happened" in 2010 and 2011, the intrusion could not have resulted in a "massive theft" of SIM card encryption keys as the breach affected the company's office network and not its secure networks.
According to new documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA and its UK counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), hacked into the computers of Gemalto, a company that manufactures SIM cards for a large number of carriers around the world. In doing so, the intelligence agencies acquired encryption keys that would allow them to intercept communications from customers of all four major U.S. carriers, along with 450 others around the world.
There's a story going around that quotes NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's lawyer as saying Snowden won't use an iPhone because it has "special software" that could gather information about him. Instead, the lawyer says, Snowden has a simple phone". There's no first-hand account from Snowden and no details about what the "special software" might be — a web cookie? who knows! — but that hasn't stopped the quote from making its way across the sensationalism-over-security parts of the internet. So, what's really going?
A bill introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy and supported by a coalition of technology companies designed to curb NSA data collection had undergone a Senate vote and failed by two votes. The USA Freedom Act fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass, garnering 58 votes in favor and 42 against.
A number of big-name tech companies are teaming up to lobby the Senate to pass legislation that would limit the reach of the NSA's spying activities, Bloomberg reported today. The coalition of tech giants includes the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft, among others.
A new report suggests that a U.S. Marshals Service spy program operating under the Justice Department is collecting thousands of cellphone identification numbers from Americans by employing fake communication towers. The program has been operational since 2007 and the towers are mounted on Cessna airplanes operating out of at least five metropolitan-area airports. These fake towers would trick cell phones on the ground into sending their identification numbers, which are then collected by the government for use in criminal cases.
After uniting over issues with net neutrality, tech leaders are once again coming together to protect the consumers. In an open letter penned to the United States government, AOL, Apple, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo are pleading with elected officials to put an end to data collection on the Internet in the age of Edward Snowden and the NSA.
If the government demands your personal, private email or other data, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, and others are reportedly taking steps to notify you faster and more frequently than they did in the past. That's putting them at odds with prosecutors who believe such notifications can interfere with ongoing investigations and evidence gathering.