Posts Tagged national security agency

NSA May Have Impersonated Google


Earlier this week, Techdirt picked up on a passing mention in a Brazilian news story and a Slate article to point out that the US National Security Agency had apparently impersonated Google on at least one occasion to gather data on people. (Mother Jones subsequently pointed out Techdirt’s point-out.)

A technique commonly used by hackers, a MITM attack involves using a fake security certificate to pose as a legitimate Web service, bypass browser security settings, and then intercept data that an unsuspecting person is sending to that service. Hackers could, for example, pose as a banking Web site and steal passwords.

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The NSA and the Obama Administration

Just after the revelations about the NSA’s encryption-breaking abilities, there is now a story that the Obama administration let the leash off the NSA in 2011. In the encryption story published by The Guardian, New York Times and Pro Publica there was an interesting nugget of information. The programs run by the NSA are named after Civil War battles. Does that mean that the NSA sees the American public as its enemy? I have no problem with the NSA doing what they do and focusing that effort outward but as soon as that capability is turned inward on our own citizens that is when we have a problem. There is that pesky Fourth Amendment to the Constitution that specifically prohibits looking at our “effects”:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Bruce Schneier, a security technologist, is now calling on engineers who work in the government or for companies that contract with the government to start blowing the whistle on these type of programs. This administration has a history of citing the dangers that certain citizens pose while ignoring the explicit threats from outside. Targeting Americans with these programs is unacceptable.

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Congress Renews Warrantless Spying

From the EFF:

The common-sense amendments the Senate hastily rejected were modest in scope and written with the utmost deference to national security concerns. The Senate had months to consider them, but waited until four days before the law was to expire to bring them to the floor, and then used the contrived time crunch to stifle any chances of them passing.

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