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New York Judge Rules NSA Phone Surveillance Lawful
aelius posted a topic in Stiri securitateNEW YORK - A US judge ruled Friday that the National Security Agency's mass surveillance of telephone calls is lawful, fanning a legal conflict likely to be decided ultimately by the Supreme Court. Federal judge William Pauley in New York threw out a petition from the American Civil Liberties Union and said the program was vital in preventing an Al-Qaeda terror attack on American soil. Ten days earlier, however, another federal judge in Washington had deemed that NSA surveillance is probably unconstitutional, laying the groundwork for a protracted series of legal challenges. "The question for this court is whether the government's bulk telephony metadata program is lawful. This court finds it is," said the 54-page ruling published in New York on Friday. The scale by which NSA indiscriminately gathers data on millions of private calls was exposed by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden, sparking an international and domestic outcry. Protected by judicial checks and executive and congressional oversight, Pauley said the program does not violate the US Constitution's fourth amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. "There is no evidence that the government has used any of the bulk telephony metadata it collected for any purpose other than investigating and disrupting terrorist attacks," he wrote. The judge sided with US spy chiefs who say that by connecting the dots between archived calls and terrorist suspects, US officials can keep the country safe. The NSA hoovers up information about virtually every telephone call to, from and within the United States, and says it is the only way to discern patterns left behind by foreign terror groups. The judge quoted the 2004 report by the 9/11 Commission -- the panel which investigated the 2001 Al-Qaeda attack on the United States -- as saying it was a false choice between liberty and security, as "nothing is more apt to imperil civil liberties than the success of a terrorist attack on American soil." "As the September 11th attacks demonstrate, the cost of missing such a thread can be horrific. Technology allowed Al-Qaeda to operate decentralized and plot international terrorist attacks remotely," he wrote. "The bulk telephony metadata collection program represents the government's counter-punch: connecting fragmented and fleeting communications to reconstruct and eliminate Al-Qaeda's terror network." The judge quoted examples in which NSA phone monitoring in 2009 exposed an Al-Qaeda plot to bomb the New York subway, and cite a plot by convicted Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley to bomb a Danish newspaper office. "Unintentional violations of guidelines," Pauley said, appeared to have stemmed from "human error" and "incredibly complex computer programs" and had been rectified where discovered. This month, an official panel handed President Barack Obama a review of the NSA's surveillance program along with more than 40 recommendations to install safeguards and limit its scope. But the administration is not expected to significantly curtail the mission, and Snowden remains a fugitive from US justice who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia. Source: New York Judge Rules NSA Phone Surveillance Lawful | SecurityWeek.Com
If you own a world-renowned Security Product or a Service, National Security Agency (NSA) is ready to pay you 10 Million or more bribe for keeping intentional backdoor for them. According to an exclusive report published by Reuters, there is a secret deal between the NSA and respected encryption company RSA to implement a flawed security standard as the default protocol in its products. Earlier Edward Snowden leaks had revealed that the NSA created a flawed random number generation system (Dual_EC_DRBG), Dual Elliptic Curve, which RSA used in its Bsafe security tool and now Snowden has revealed that RSA received $10 million from NSA for keeping Encryption Weak. So, anyone who knows the right numbers used in Random number generator program, can decipher the resulting cryptotext easily. Recommending bad cryptographic standard is one thing, but accepting 10 million to deliberately implement is something very shameful for a respected Security company. The new revelation is important, cryptographer and Security expert Bruce Schneier said, because it confirms more suspected tactics that the NSA employs. "You think they only bribed one company in the history of their operations? What's at play here is that we don't know who's involved," he said. RSA, now owned by computer storage firm EMC Corp, and has maintained its stand of not colluding with NSA to compromise the security of its products, "RSA always acts in the best interest of its customers and under no circumstances does RSA design or enable any back doors in our products," Both the NSA and RSA haven't directly acknowledged the deal. But after Snowden revelations, What is the RSA's credibility or of other American software and networking companies? Source: NSA paid $10 Million bribe to RSA Security for Keeping Encryption Weak Also, published on: - Reuters - The Register
Aerial image of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Photo: Ministry of Defence/Wikipedia The British spy agency GCHQ has secretly tapped more than 200 fiber-optic cables carrying phone and internet traffic and has been sharing data with the U.S. National Security Agency, according to a news report. The spy operation, which included placing intercepts at the landing points of transatlantic undersea cables where they surface in the U.K., has allowed the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to become the top interceptor of phone and internet data in the world, according to the Guardian newspaper, which broke the story based on documents leaked by former NSA systems administrator Edward Snowden. One part of the operation, codenamed Tempora, has been operating for about 18 months and allows the agency to tap large volumes of data siphoned from the cables and store it for up to 30 days for sifting and analyzing. Each of the cables carries about 10 gigabits of data per second, which the paper likened to sending all of the information in all the books in the British Library through the cables 192 times every 24 hours. Filters allow the agency to reduce the amount of traffic it records — one filter cuts out about 30 percent of traffic just by eliminating peer-to-peer downloads — while still collecting vast amounts of data that get sifted by analysts. Some 850,000 NSA employees and U.S. private contractors with top secret clearance have access to GCHQ databases and as of May last year, at least 750 analysts from the U.K. and NSA were tasked specifically with sifting through the data, using more than 70,000 search terms related to security, terrorist activity and organized crime. Search terms focus on subjects, phone numbers and email addresses of interest. The tapping was conducted in cooperation with commercial companies that own and operate the cables, the paper noted. “There’s an overarching condition of the licensing of the companies that they have to co-operate in this,” an unnamed source told the paper. “Should they decline, we can compel them to do so. They have no choice.” The tapping began as a trial in 2008 and within two years the GCHQ achieved top eavesdropper status among the nations known as the Five Eyes of electronic eavesdropping — U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. GCHQ reportedly now “produces larger amounts of metadata than NSA” as a result of the program. During a 2008 visit to the GCHQ’s listening station at Menwith Hill NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander reportedly remarked: “Why can’t we collect all the signals all the time? Sounds like a good summer project for Menwith.” The program has been justified for allowing the agencies to identify new techniques used by terrorists to thwart security checks, to uncover terrorist activities during the planning stages and to track child exploitation networks and aid in cybersecurity defenses against network attacks. Via