Friday, July 12, 2013

NSA : At Microsoft, your privacy is our "team sport"

Feel free to drop by this Microsoft ad and give it a thumbs down.
"At Microsoft, your privacy is our priority." 

Indeed. About that ...

Guardian : How Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages

 Secret files show scale of Silicon Valley co-operation on Prism encryption including Hotmail unlocked even before official launch 
 Skype worked to enable Prism collection of video calls 
Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian. 
 In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;
 Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".
US lawmakers, along with Microsoft, Skype, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo all initially attempted to deny knowledge of PRISM or that the intelligence agencies have back doors into their systems, explaining they are very occasionally under a legal compulsion to cough up customer data to comply with "existing and future lawful demands" in Microsoft's happy phrase, but this tiny ISP company bucked it and won.

Meanwhile ...

NSA Writes Code Used in Google Phone  [h/t West End Bob]
The tech giant Google has confirmed the National Security Agency furnished some of the code installed in its new Android phone. The NSA says the code is intended to enhance security against hackers and marketers, but will not confirm whether it also aids the agency’s PRISM program monitoring the global Internet.
Back to the Guardian :
"Blanket orders from the secret surveillance court allow these communications to be collected without an individual warrant if the NSA operative has a 51% belief that the target is not a US citizen and is not on US soil at the time."
That's us.

Michael Geist Feb 15 2012 on the situation in Canada
"[W]ith ISPs and telcos providing subscriber data without a warrant 95 percent of the time, there is a huge information disclosure issue with no reporting and no oversight. This is a major issue on its own, particularly since it is not clear whether these figures also include requests to Internet companies like Google and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  
The RCMP alone made over 28,000 requests for customer name and address information in 2010. These requests go unreported - subscribers don't know their information has been disclosed and the ISPs and telecom companies aren't talking either."

If you'd like to opt out of the NSA and their "team sport", there are other options :

Related from Saskboy : PRISM : Oliver Stone vs NSA and Checkpoints
"The question is not Do you have something to hide? The question is whether we control government or the government controls us."


Anonymous said...

'Your privacy is our profit centre' would be be more accurate, if not as reassuring.


Anonymous said...

Office of the Communications Security Establishment of Canada, 2010-2011 Report

"These activities involve CSEC's use and analysis of information about Canadians for foreign intelligence purposes. ... Major changes to certain policies, procedures and practices have recently occurred."

West End Bob said...

'Ya did it, didn't 'ya, Alison? Told 'ya that "you're much better at that"! ;-)

David Sirota brings up a good point 'bout all the guv'mint spyin' on us that's worth noting, too . . . .

Alison said...

Bob : Good point from Sirota - With the NSA outsourcing 70% of its budget to private surveillance corporations, the massive amount of money and political influence surveillance tech is generating has not been stressed enough.
More money in surveillance than there is in civil liberties, that's for sure.

Another money angle. If a company was in the financial advice industry as well as the surveillance industry - like say just for instance Booz Allen of the Carlyle Group happens to be - the surveillance end of things could provide an extraordinary advantage to your Wall Street clients if the firewall between the two was breached by a rogue employee or group within the company.

Anon : I'll have to look up the context for that quote.
Or .... you could just tell me why you left it here.;-)

Waterbaby : Heh. Also
Google : Don't Be Evil Knievel

West End Bob said...

"Thumbs down" now at 820, Alison - Good Job ! ! ! !

Alison said...

Waterbaby : Was working - call me next time you go!

Huh. Not the first time SNC-L got a Canadian Natural Resources froth treatment deal. From 2005:


Calgary | May 10, 2005
SNC-Lavalin Inc. has been awarded a contract, valued at approximately $40 million, by Canadian Natural Resources Limited (Canadian Natural) to provide engineering, procurement and construction management services for the Horizon Oil Sands Project - Froth Treatment Plant on oil sands leases in the Fort McMurray region in Alberta.
The engineering phase is underway and construction is scheduled to begin in August 2005. The expected completion date for the construction phase is December 2007.

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