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In varietate concordia.

Il più grande rischio per i vostri dati personali 05.09.13

Il più grande rischio per i vostri dati personali non è la capacità della NSA o del GCHQ o di qualunque altra agenzia di intelligence di hackerare sistemi, ascoltare comunicazioni e decrittare password, ma l'ingenuità di chi abbocca al social engineering.
Il più grande rischio per i vostri dati personali siete voi stessi.

Il gioco delle spie 12.07.13

La vicenda di Edward Snowden, ex spia americana e gola profonda del programma PRISM, pronto a chiedere asilo politico alla patria delle libertà individuali Russia, in attesa di trovare un passaggio per fuggire in Sud America, assume sempre più i contorni di un'operazione di controspionaggio che non quelli di una onorevole battaglia per i diritti civili.

Ogni agenzia di intelligence cerca informazioni sulle altre 01.07.13

Every country in the world that is engaged in international affairs undertakes all kinds of activities to protect its national security. All I know is that it is not unusual.

Spionaggio for dummies sul caso PRISM e le intercettazioni ai danni dell'Unione Europea. Ora potete scendere dalla montagna del sapone.

Le rivelazioni di Edward Snowden 17.06.13

TPM ha analizzato la chat live di oltre un'ora del Guardian con Edward Snowden, la gola profonda dello scandalo legato all'operazione di spionaggio PRISM.

Perhaps the most interesting answers offered by Snowden on Monday came when he addressed the line between what intelligence agencies are technically capable of versus what policy allows them to do.

The issue came up twice. The first time, Snowden was responding to a question asking him to "[d]efine in as much detail as you can what 'direct access' means." (In the wake of the original stories in The Guardian and The Washington Post citing documents released by Snowden, several of the technology companies that had been identified as part of the PRISM program denied giving the government "direct access" to their servers.)

Here's how Snowden responded:

More detail on how direct NSA's accesses are is coming, but in general, the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc analyst has access to query raw SIGINT databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want. Phone number, email, user id, cell phone handset id (IMEI), and so on - it's all the same. The restrictions against this are policy based, not technically based, and can change at any time. Additionally, audits are cursory, incomplete, and easily fooled by fake justifications. For at least GCHQ, the number of audited queries is only 5% of those performed.

Snowden returned to the issue later in the chat. A reader asked Snowden if he stood by his claim that, as an NSA contractor, he "had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President if I had a personal email." Snowden said that he stood by the claim, then again discussed the relationship between policy protections and technical capabilities:

US Persons do enjoy limited policy protections (and again, it's important to understand that policy protection is no protection - policy is a one-way ratchet that only loosens) and one very weak technical protection - a near-the-front-end filter at our ingestion points. The filter is constantly out of date, is set at what is euphemistically referred to as the 'widest allowable aperture,' and can be stripped out at any time. Even with the filter, US comms get ingested, and even more so as soon as they leave the border. Your protected communications shouldn't stop being protected communications just because of the IP they’re tagged with. More fundamentally, the 'US Persons' protection in general is a distraction from the power and danger of this system. Suspicionless surveillance does not become okay simply because it's only victimizing 95% of the world instead of 100%. Our founders did not write that 'We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all US Persons are created equal.'

Edward Snowden eroe o traditore? 11.06.13

Le due tesi sul conto della gola profonda del caso PRISM messe a confronto.

John Cassidy e la causa dell'eroe.

In revealing the colossal scale of the U.S. government's eavesdropping on Americans and other people around the world, he has performed a great public service that more than outweighs any breach of trust he may have committed. Like Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department official who released the Pentagon Papers, and Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear technician who revealed the existence of Israel's weapons program, before him, Snowden has brought to light important information that deserved to be in the public domain, while doing no lasting harm to the national security of his country.

Jeffrey Toobin e l'accusa di tradimento.

What, one wonders, did Snowden think the N.S.A. did? Any marginally attentive citizen, much less N.S.A. employee or contractor, knows that the entire mission of the agency is to intercept electronic communications. Perhaps he thought that the N.S.A. operated only outside the United States; in that case, he hadn't been paying very close attention. In any event, Snowden decided that he does not "want to live in a society" that intercepts private communications. His latter-day conversion is dubious.

[...] Snowden fled to Hong Kong when he knew publication of his leaks was imminent. In his interview, he said he went there because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent." This may be true, in some limited way, but the overriding fact is that Hong Kong is part of China, which is, as Snowden knows, a stalwart adversary of the United States in intelligence matters. (Evan Osnos has more on that.) Snowden is now at the mercy of the Chinese leaders who run Hong Kong. As a result, all of Snowden's secrets may wind up in the hands of the Chinese government-which has no commitment at all to free speech or the right to political dissent.

L'ex ragazza di Edward Snowden 11.06.13

Lindsay Mills

La decisione di Snowden di rivelare i segreti di PRISM ha lasciato conseguenze non soltanto politiche, ma anche affettive.
Lindsay Mills, 28enne ballerina del Waikiki Acrobatic Troupe, si è ritrovata sola dopo la scomparsa del suo fidanzato. Questo è il suo blog.

Obama sta leggendo le tue email 10.06.13

Obama guarda il notebook di una bambina

Si chiama Obama Is Checking Your Email, il tumblr che rivela la predisposizione del presidente Obama nello spiare le email dei cittadini americani.

La tecnologia alla base di PRISM 09.06.13

Il New York Times analizza la rivoluzione informatica che ha permesso la gestione dei Big Data - termine che indica grandi aggregazioni di dati complessi - e che sta alla basa di PRISM, il sitema di spionaggio delle comunicazioni portato alla luce dal Guardian.

When American analysts hunting terrorists sought new ways to comb through the troves of phone records, e-mails and other data piling up as digital communications exploded over the past decade, they turned to Silicon Valley computer experts who had developed complex equations to thwart Russian mobsters intent on credit card fraud.

The partnership between the intelligence community and Palantir Technologies, a Palo Alto, Calif., company founded by a group of inventors from PayPal, is just one of many that the National Security Agency and other agencies have forged as they have rushed to unlock the secrets of "Big Data."

Today, a revolution in software technology that allows for the highly automated and instantaneous analysis of enormous volumes of digital information has transformed the N.S.A., turning it into the virtual landlord of the digital assets of Americans and foreigners alike. The new technology has, for the first time, given America's spies the ability to track the activities and movements of people almost anywhere in the world without actually watching them or listening to their conversations.

New disclosures that the N.S.A. has secretly acquired the phone records of millions of Americans and access to e-mails, videos and other data of foreigners from nine United States Internet companies have provided a rare glimpse into the growing reach of the nation's largest spy agency. They have also alarmed the government: on Saturday night, Shawn Turner, a spokesman for the director of national intelligence, said that "a crimes report has been filed by the N.S.A."

With little public debate, the N.S.A. has been undergoing rapid expansion in order to exploit the mountains of new data being created each day. The government has poured billions of dollars into the agency over the last decade, building a one-million-square-foot fortress in the mountains of Utah, apparently to store huge volumes of personal data indefinitely. It created intercept stations across the country, according to former industry and intelligence officials, and helped build one of the world's fastest computers to crack the codes that protect information.

While once the flow of data across the Internet appeared too overwhelming for N.S.A. to keep up with, the recent revelations suggest that the agency's capabilities are now far greater than most outsiders believed. "Five years ago, I would have said they don't have the capability to monitor a significant amount of Internet traffic," said Herbert S. Lin, an expert in computer science and telecommunications at the National Research Council. Now, he said, it appears "that they are getting close to that goal."

On Saturday, it became clear how close: Another N.S.A. document, again cited by The Guardian, showed a "global heat map" that appeared to represent how much data the N.S.A. sweeps up around the world. It showed that in March 2013 there were 97 billion pieces of data collected from networks worldwide; about 14 percent of it was in Iran, much was from Pakistan and about 3 percent came from inside the United States, though some of that might have been foreign data traffic routed through American-based servers.

Chi è Edward Snowden 09.06.13

Avevo una vita comoda: ragazza, lavoro e carriera. Ma ho deciso di sacrificare tutto perché non avevo la coscienza a posto nel permettere che il governo USA distruggesse ogni privacy, libertà della rete, e diritti fondamentali delle persone in tutto il mondo.

Il Guardian ha intervistato in una camera d'albergo di Hong Kong Edward Snowden, 29enne ex tecnico della CIA, gola profonda dello scandalo PRISM.

Quello che sappiamo di PRISM in numeri 07.06.13

Lo scandalo, tutto da verificare, rivelato sul Guardian e amplificato dal Washington Post inerente al programma di spionaggio delle comunicazioni via telefono e web della NSA, nome in codice PRISM, che sta mettendo in difficoltà l'amministrazione Obama, spiegato coi numeri.

1.477: The number of times data obtained via PRISM has been cited in the president's daily intelligence briefing.

1 in 7: The proportion of NSA intelligence reports using raw material from PRISM.

77.000: The number of intelligence reports that have cited PRISM.

2.000: The number of PRISM-based reports issued per month.

24.005: The number of PRISM-based reports issued in 2012 alone, which was a 27 percent increase from the previous year.

9: The number of tech companies whose servers NSA has access to via PRISM.

6: The number of years PRISM has been in operation.

2: The number of presidential administrations PRISM has operated under.

51 percent: The minimum confidence of a target's "foreignness" when an NSA analyst uses PRISM.

248 percent: The increase in 2012 in the number of Skype communications intercepted via PRISM

131 percent: The increase in 2012 in PRISM requests for Facebook data.

63 percent: The increase in 2012 in PRISM requests for Google data.

$20 million: The annual cost of PRISM.

$8 billion: The estimated annual budget of the NSA.

35.000 to 55.000: The estimated number of employees at the NSA.

0: The number of times Twitter has agreed to participate in PRISM.

1: The number of ad campaigns by Microsoft, the first company to agree to participate in PRISM, in which the company declares "your privacy is our priority."