The petition urges President Barack Obama and the leadership of both parties to foster more transparency after disclosures about a widespread surveillance program conducted by the National Security Agency. In the letter, signed by Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, and others, the companies said Americans "are entitled to have an informed public debate" about what their government is doing. The letter also presses Congress to enact laws forcing the government to provide "… Read more
Many of technology's most prominent companies will reportedly join civil liberties groups on Thursday in calling for dramatically increased transparency regarding U.S. government surveillance activities.
Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are part of an alliance signing a letter to be published Thursday that calls on President Barack Obama and Congress to allow Internet and telecommunications companies to offer more details about U.S. government requests for user information, according to an AllThingsD report. The alliance, which reportedly includes 63 companies, investors, and trade groups, will request greater latitude in regularly reporting information about the number of requests they … Read more
Google has begun experimenting with encrypting Google Drive files, a privacy-protective move that could curb attempts by the U.S. and other governments to gain access to users' stored files.
Two sources told CNET that the Mountain View, Calif.-based company is actively testing encryption to armor files on its cloud-based file storage and synchronization service. One source who is familiar with the project said a small percentage of Google Drive files is currently encrypted.
Microsoft on Tuesday asked the Obama administration to allow it to reveal details about how it responds to orders from the U.S. government for user account data.
Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, sent a strongly worded letter to Attorney General Eric Holder this afternoon saying there is "no longer a compelling government interest" in preventing companies "from sharing more information" about how they respond. That's especially true, the letter said, when this information is likely to help "allay public concerns" about warrantless surveillance.
The letter appears to be a response to … Read more
The National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program is now under fire from an unusual source: gun-rights groups.
A federal lawsuit filed today in San Francisco says the NSA's decision to vacuum up nearly all U.S. phone records, including local calls, on a daily basis violates federal law and the Constitution, which protects Americans' rights to speak freely and not be subjected to ongoing warrantless surveillance.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Calguns Foundation, a nonprofit membership organization based in San Carlos, Calif.; the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, an industry association of dealers, collectors, and shooting … Read more
ICANN, the organization in charge of a major overhaul of Internet addresses, said it has signed agreements that will bring Chinese, Russian, and Arabic domain names to the Net.
At its 47th meeting this week, in Durban, South Africa, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that three companies signed registry agreements that will enable them to operate four generic top-level domains (GTLDs). The approval is a step in the controversial expansion of the Internet's addressing, from a small number of well-known, top-level domains -- such as .com -- to many more. A total of 1,092 applications have passed … Read more
Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the National Security Agency who leaked classified documents regarding the agency's surveillance programs, has very sensitive "blueprints" describing how the agency operates, a journalist close to the story told The Associated Press.
Snowden has "literally thousands of documents" that constitute "basically the instruction manual for how the NSA is built" that could aid in duplicating or evading NSA surveillance tactics, The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald told the news agency on Sunday.
"In order to take documents with him that proved that what he was saying was … Read more
It was a quiet night for an epic battle in San Francisco. Beneath the twinkling Christmas lights of the trailer-trash-themed bar Butter, the competitors donned their furry, glossy armor; a Sylvester the Cat costume for veteran Chris Quigley and a Scooby Doo suit for newcomer Shaan Puri. This was the #kittencamp meme battle.
At stake was the Standing Cat Cup, a 13KB JPEG of a cat standing on its hind legs, and glory -- sweet, cat-video-laden lolz glory.
The two men were about to go head-to-head in an Internet meme competition. The event, meant to celebrate Internet culture and viral … Read more
By wielding a potent legal threat, the U.S. government is often able to force Internet companies to aid its surveillance demands. The threat? Comply or we'll implant our own eavesdropping devices on your network.
Under federal law, the National Security Agency can serve real-time "electronic surveillance" orders on Internet companies for investigations related to terrorism or national security.
These orders, authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, are used to feed data into the NSA's PRISM software program that was revealed last month by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden. PRISM documents indicate that the NSA … Read more
Skype now has a backdoor that permits government surveillance of users' video and audio calls, according to a new report in the Guardian.
The report, based on leaked slides from the National Security Agency, appears to confirm growing suspicions about the popular video chat service -- and indicates calls may be monitored as easily as an old-fashioned phone call.
One document quoted by the newspaper says intelligence analysts began to be able to monitor Skype video calls in July 2012: "The audio portions of these sessions have been processed correctly all along, but without the accompanying video. Now, analysts … Read more