Wednesday, July 02, 2014

OpenStack 07/03/2014 (a.m.)

  • Can't happen soon enough. 

    Tags: surveillance state, Snoden-docs, bulk-release, Cryptome

    • All the remaining Snowden documents will be released next month, according t‪o‬ whistle-blowing site ‪Cryptome, which said in a tweet that the release of the info by unnamed third parties would be necessary to head off an unnamed "war".‬

      ‪Cryptome‬ said it would "aid and abet" the release of "57K to 1.7M" new documents that had been "withheld for national security-public debate [sic]".

      The site clarified that will not be publishing the documents itself.

      Transparency activists would welcome such a release but such a move would be heavily criticised by inteligence agencies and military officials, who argue that Snowden's dump of secret documents has set US and allied (especially British) intelligence efforts back by years.

    • As things stand, the flow of Snowden disclosures is controlled by those who have access to the Sn‪o‬wden archive, which might possibly include Snowden confidants such as Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. In some cases, even when these people release information to mainstream media organisations, it is then suppressed by these organisations after negotiation with the authorities. (In one such case, some key facts were later revealed by the Register.)

      "July is when war begins unless headed off by Snowden full release of crippling intel. After war begins not a chance of release," Cryptome tweeted on its official feed.

      "Warmongerers are on a rampage. So, yes, citizens holding Snowden docs will do the right thing," it said.

    • "For more on Snowden docs release in July watch for Ellsberg, special guest and others at HOPE, July 18-20: http://www.hope.net/schedule.html," it added.

      HOPE (Hackers On Planet Earth) is a well-regarded and long-running hacking conference organised by 2600 magazine. Previous speakers at the event have included Kevin Mitnick, Steve Wozniak and Jello Biafra.

      In other developments, ‪Cryptome‬ has started a Kickstarter fund to release its entire archive in the form of a USB stick archive. It wants t‪o‬ raise $100,000 to help it achieve its goal. More than $14,000 has already been raised.

      The funding drive follows a dispute between ‪Cryptome‬ and its host Network Solutions, which is owned by web.com. Access to the site was bl‪o‬cked f‪o‬ll‪o‬wing a malware infection last week. ‪Cryptome‬ f‪o‬under J‪o‬hn Y‪o‬ung criticised the host, claiming it had ‪o‬ver-reacted and had been sl‪o‬w t‪o‬ rest‪o‬re access t‪o‬ the site, which ‪Cryptome‬ criticised as a form of cens‪o‬rship.

      In resp‪o‬nse, ‪Cryptome‬ plans to more widely distribute its content across multiple sites as well as releasing the planned USB stick archive. ®

  • Tags: surveillance state, U.S., E.U., litigation

    • The EU has slammed the US for its demand that Microsoft surrender overseas data – emails held on Irish servers – saying that the move could contravene international law.

      The US attempt to make Microsoft provide the emails prompted Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission, to offer support to Microsoft and openly criticize the loss of personal information it could potentially involve.

      “The commission’s concern is that the extraterritorial application of foreign laws [and orders to companies based thereon] may be in breach of international law,” Reding wrote last week in a letter responding to questions from Dutch MEP Sophia in't Veld, reported the Financial Times on Monday.

      The move would “hurt the competitiveness of US cloud providers in general,” Microsoft said, adding that: “Microsoft and US technology companies have faced growing mistrust and concern about their ability to protect the privacy of personal information located outside the US.”

    • Reding added that the US “may impede the attainment of the protection of individuals guaranteed” under EU law. Her statement further echoes arguments laid out by Apple, Cisco, AT&T, and Verizon, which supported Microsoft against the US warrant.

      At the beginning of June, Microsoft compared the warrant to an authorization for federal agents ‘to break down the doors’ of its Dublin facility.

      Reding said the US should have leaned away from coercion and instead depended on mutual legal assistance treaties that facilitate law enforcement agency cooperation.

    • “Companies bound by EU data protection law who receive such a court order are caught in the middle of such situations where there is, as you say in your letter, a conflict of laws,” Reding wrote.
  • Tags: surveillance state, GCHQ, litigation, ISPs, NSA-blowback

    • Internet service providers from around the world are lodging formal complaints against the UK government's monitoring service, GCHQ, alleging that it uses "malicious software" to break into their networks.

      The claims from seven organisations based in six countries – the UK, Netherlands, US, South Korea, Germany and Zimbabwe – will add to international pressure on the British government following Edward Snowden's revelations about mass surveillance of the internet by UK and US intelligence agencies.

      The claims are being filed with the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT), the court in London that assesses complaints about the agencies' activities and misuse of surveillance by government organisations. Most of its hearings are held at least partially in secret.

    • The IPT is already considering a number of related submissions. Later this month it will investigate complaints by human rights groups about the way social media sites have been targeted by GCHQ.

      The government has defended the security services, pointing out that online searches are often routed overseas and those deemed "external communications" can be monitored without the need for an individual warrant. Critics say that such a legal interpretation sidesteps the need for traditional intercept safeguards.

      The latest claim is against both GCHQ, located near Cheltenham, and the Foreign Office. It is based on articles published earlier this year in the German magazine Der Spiegel. That report alleged that GCHQ had carried out an attack, codenamed Operation Socialist, on the Belgian telecoms group, Belgacom, targeting individual employees with "malware (malicious software)".

      One of the techniques was a "man in the middle" attack, which, according to the documents filed at the IPT, bypasses modern encryption software and "operates by interposing the attacker [GCHQ] between two computers that believe that they are securely communicating with each other. In fact, each is communicating with GCHQ, who collect the communications, as well as relaying them in the hope that the interference will be undetected."

      The complaint alleges that the attacks were a breach of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and an interference with the privacy rights of the employees under the European convention of human rights.

    • The organisations targeted, the submission states, were all "responsible and professional internet service providers". The claimants are: GreenNet Ltd, based in the UK, Riseup Networks in Seattle, Mango Email Service in Zimbabwe, Jinbonet in South Korea, Greenhost in the Netherlands, May First/People Link in New York and the Chaos Computer Club in Hamburg.
    • Among the programs said to have been operating were Turbine, which automates the injection of data and can infect millions of machines and Warrior Pride, which enables microphones on iPhones and Android devices to be remotely activated.
  • Tags: T-Mobile, fraud, litigation, FTC, FCC

    • (AP) -- Federal regulators are urging consumers to go through their phone bills line by line after they accused T-Mobile US of wrongly charging customers for premium services, like horoscope texts and quirky ringtones, the customers never authorized.

      The Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday that it is suing T-Mobile in a federal court in Seattle with the goal of making sure every unfairly charged customer sees a full refund. The lawsuit, the first of its kind against a mobile provider, is the result of months of stalled negotiations with T-Mobile, which says it is already offering refunds.

      "It's wrong for a company like T-Mobile to profit from scams against its customers when there were clear warning signs the charges it was imposing were fraudulent," FTC Chair Edith Ramirez in a statement.

    • The practice is called "cramming": A third party stuffs a customer's bill with bogus charges such as $10-per-month horoscopes or updates on celebrity gossip. In this case, the FTC said, T-Mobile was working with third-party vendors being investigated by regulators and known to be the subject of numerous customer complaints. T-Mobile then made it difficult for customers to notice the added charge to their bill and pocketed up to 40 percent of the total, according to the FTC.
    • The FTC told reporters in a conference call Tuesday that it had been in negotiations with T-Mobile for months in an attempt to guarantee refunds would be provided to customers but that the two sides couldn't reach an agreement.

      T-Mobile appears to have been laying the groundwork to head off the federal complaint. Last November, the company announced that it would no longer allow premium text services because they were waning in popularity and not all vendors had acted responsibly. In June, it announced it would reach out to consumers to provide refunds. But the FTC says that in many cases, the refunds are only partial and T-Mobile often refers customer complaints to the third-party vendors.


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