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Australian delegates meet in Ottowa to unscramble encrypted internet

News Updates from CLG 03 July 2017

http://www.legitgov.org/
Previous edition: USS Reagan crew can sue Japanese company over Fukushima nuclear disaster – court

US authorities tapped 3 mln phones in single wiretap order in 2016 | 01 July 2017 | It took US authorities a single wiretap order to intercept and record over 3 million phone calls and messages last year, the Wiretap Report 2016, published by the United States Courts, revealed. The intercepts were carried out over the course of two months by an undisclosed government agency, which applied for the wiretap order in late 2015, according to the report, brought to media attention by the ZDNet website.

NSA’s use of ‘traffic shaping’ allows unrestrained spying on Americans | 22 June 2017 | A new analysis of documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden details a highly classified technique that allows the National Security Agency to “deliberately divert” US internet traffic, normally safeguarded by constitutional protections, overseas in order to conduct unrestrained data collection on Americans. According to the new analysis, the NSA has clandestine means of “diverting portions of the river of internet traffic that travels on global communications cables,” which allows it to bypass protections put into place by Congress to prevent domestic surveillance on Americans. The new findings, published Thursday, follows a 2014 published paper, which theorized that the NSA, whose job it is to produce intelligence from overseas targets, was using a “traffic shaping” technique to route US internet data overseas so that it could be incidentally collected under the authority of a largely unknown executive order.

Australia to Seek Greater Powers on Encrypted Messaging at ‘Five Eyes’ Meeting | 25 June 2017 | Australia said on Sunday it will push for greater powers to tackle the use of encrypted messaging services used by terrorists and criminals at an upcoming meeting of ministers from the “Five Eyes” intelligence network. The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, will meet in the Canadian city of Ottawa next week, where they will discuss tactics to combat terrorism and border protection, two senior Australian ministers said. Australia has made it clear it wants tech companies to do much more to give intelligence and law enforcement agencies access to encrypted communications.

‘Petya’ ransomware attack stems from NSA exploit – Snowden, security experts | 27 June 2017 | The Petya ransomw-re that spread across the globe Tuesday was made possible thanks to EternalBlue – a hacking tool used by the NSA to exploit a Windows vulnerability it left open for five years, Edward Snowden and security experts have said…”How many times does @NSAGov’s development of digital weapons have to result in harm to civil infrastructure before there is accountability?” Snowden tweeted. The NSA’s hacking team, Equation Group (or Tailored Access Operations), lost control of its trove of hacking exploits and, last August, a group calling themselves the Shadow Brokers announced it had access to those tools.

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The Sunday Times’ Snowden Story: Journalism at Its Worst and Filled With Falsehoods

Compliant media exposed dancing to government spin doctors fabricating a white wash

By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept – 14 June 2015

Glenn Greenwald is a journalist, constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times best-selling books on politics and law.

 

Western journalists claim that the big lesson they learned from their key role in selling the Iraq War to the public is that it’s hideous, corrupt and often dangerous journalism to give anonymity to government officials to let them propagandize the public, then uncritically accept those anonymously voiced claims as Truth. But they’ve learned no such lesson. That tactic continues to be the staple of how major U.S. and British media outlets “report,” especially in the national security area. And journalists who read such reports continue to treat self-serving decrees by unnamed, unseen officials — laundered through their media — as gospel, no matter how dubious are the claims or factually false is the reporting.

We now have one of the purest examples of this dynamic. Last night, the Murdoch-owned Sunday Times published their lead front-page Sunday article, headlined “British Spies Betrayed to Russians and Chinese.” Just as the conventional media narrative was shifting to pro-Snowden sentiment in the wake of a key court ruling and a new surveillance law, the article (behind a paywall: full text here) claims in the first paragraph that these two adversaries “have cracked the top-secret cache of files stolen by the fugitive U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, forcing MI6 to pull agents out of live operations in hostile countries, according to senior officials in Downing Street, the Home Office and the security services.” It continues:

Western intelligence agencies say they have been forced into the rescue operations after Moscow gained access to more than 1m classified files held by the former American security contractor, who fled to seek protection from Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, after mounting one of the largest leaks in U.S. history.

Senior government sources confirmed that China had also cracked the encrypted documents, which contain details of secret intelligence techniques and information that could allow British and American spies to be identified.

One senior Home Office official accused Snowden of having “blood on his hands,” although Downing Street said there was “no evidence of anyone being harmed.”

Aside from the serious retraction-worthy fabrications on which this article depends — more on those in a minute — the entire report is a self-negating joke. It reads like a parody I might quickly whip up in order to illustrate the core sickness of Western journalism.

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