Wednesday, June 10, 2015

OpenStack 06/11/2015 (a.m.)

  • Tags: surveillance state, NSA, speech-recognition, phone-content

    • Third in a series. Part 1 here; Part 2 here.

      When it comes to the National Security Agency’s recently disclosed use of automated speech recognition technology to search, index and transcribe voice communications, people in the United States may well be asking: But are they transcribing my phone calls?

      The answer is maybe.

      A clear-cut answer is elusive because documents in the Snowden archive describe the capability to turn speech into text, but not the extent of its use — and the U.S. intelligence community refuses to answer even the most basic questions on the topic.

    • thanks to previous explorations of the Snowden archive and some documents released by the Obama administration, we know there are four major methods the NSA uses to get access to phone calls involving Americans — and only one of them technically precludes the use of speech recognition.
  • Tags: surveillance state, NSA, encryption, backdoors, Obama, industry, privacy

    • As Washington weighs new cybersecurity steps amid a public backlash over mass surveillance, U.S. tech companies warned President Barack Obama not to weaken increasingly sophisticated encryption systems designed to protect consumers' privacy.

      In a strongly worded letter to Obama on Monday, two industry associations for major software and hardware companies said, "We are opposed to any policy actions or measures that would undermine encryption as an available and effective tool."

      The Information Technology Industry Council and the Software and Information Industry Association, representing tech giants, including Apple Inc, Google Inc, Facebook Inc, IBM and Microsoft Corp, fired the latest salvo in what is shaping up to be a long fight over government access into smart phones and other digital devices.

  • Tags: surveillance state, NSA-blowback, U.S.-tech-cos

    • A new study says that the U.S. tech industry is likely to lose more than $35 billion from foreign customers by 2016 because of concerns over government surveillance.

      “In short, foreign customers are shunning U.S. companies,” the authors of a new study from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation write.

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      “The U.S. government’s failure to reform many of the NSA’s surveillance programs has damaged the competitiveness of the U.S. tech sector and cost it a portion of the global market share,” they said.

      The think tank’s report found that the cost to the tech sector associated with ongoing concerns over surveillance programs run out of the U.S. was likely to “far exceed” $35 billion by 2016, an earlier estimate set by the group.

    • The group said that lawmakers must enact additional reforms to surveillance policy if they wish to help the tech sector regain the trust of foreign customers. That includes opposing “backdoors,” which allow law enforcement to access otherwise encrypted data, and signing off on trade agreements, including the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, that “ban digital protectionism.”

      The study’s authors found that the revelations about broad U.S. surveillance programs acted as a justification for foreign policymakers to enact protectionist policies aimed at aiding their own domestic technology sectors.

      Foreign companies have also used the information about U.S. surveillance programs to their advantage.

      “Some European companies have begun to highlight where their digital services are hosted as an alternative to U.S. companies,” the authors write.

    • American companies, they found, have lost contracts to foreign competitors over fears about mass surveillance.

      Earlier this month, President Obama signed the USA Freedom Act, a bill that reformed the three Patriot Act provisions that authorized the bulk, warrantless collection of Americans’ phone records. The bill was widely supported by technology companies, including giants like Apple and Google.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

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