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Archive for the ‘Corruption’ Category

Lest We Forget: The NSA already has backdoor access to your iPhone

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Amidst current attention on the Federal Court’s attempt to require Apple to install a backdoor allowing the FBI to access a criminal’s iPhone, may we remind ourselves of the NSA’s spectacular access to the same device using  DROPOUT JEEP:

From 2013

How The NSA Hacks Your iPhone (Presenting DROPOUT JEEP)

DROPOUT JEEP is a software implant for the Apple iPhone that utilizes modular mission applications to provide specific SIGINT functionality. This functionality includes the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device. SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. Command, control and data exfiltration can occur over SMS messaging or a GPRS data connection. All communications with the implant will be covert and encrypted.”

The flowchart of how the NSA makes your iPhone its iPhone is presented below:

  • NSA ROC operator
  • Load specified module
  • Send data request
  • iPhone accepts request
  • Retrieves required SIGINT data
  • Encrypt and send exfil data
  • Rinse repeat

And visually:

 

Jewel v NSA: EFF Allowed to Conduct Discovery Against Unwarranted NSA Surveillance Programs

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From:  https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/02/big-victory-judge-pushes-jewel-v-nsa-forward

February 19, 2016 | By David Greene

Big Victory: Judge Pushes Jewel v. NSA Forward

We won a groundbreaking legal victory late Friday in our Jewel v. NSA case, which challenges the NSA’s Internet and telephone surveillance. Judge Jeffrey White has authorized EFF, on behalf of the plaintiffs, to conduct discovery against the NSA. We had been barred from doing so since the case was filed in 2008, which meant that the government was able to prevent us from requesting important information about how these programs worked.

This marks the first time a party has been allowed to gather factual evidence from the NSA in a case involving the agency’s warrantless surveillance. The government had fought all our requests to proceed with this lawsuit, arguing that the state secrets privilege protects it against both discovery and liability. Judge White previously rejected that argument for our statutory claims under the Wiretap Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the Stored Communications Act. This ruling affirms Judge White’s previous decision and opens the door for discovery.

This is an important step forward to lifting the cloak of secrecy that has thus far shielded the NSA from judicial scrutiny, and EFF looks forward to finally getting to the nuts and bolts of this extraordinarily important lawsuit.

Senator Rand Paul re-introduces ‘Audit the Fed’ bill

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Rand Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, on Wednesday re-introduced a bill that would expose the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy discussions and decisions to a congressional audit.

The Fed fears that a full GAO audit would reveal too much detail of monetary policy decisions made by the Federal Open Market Committee. Fed officials have said such exposure would complicate their public communications, hurt their credibility and stoke financial market volatility. The central bank also fears that efforts to impinge on its independence would hurt U.S. monetary policy.

Full Story:  Senator Rand Paul re-introduces ‘Audit the Fed’ bill – Yahoo News Canada

Written by bothernews

January 29, 2015 at 12:45 am

Banking Culture Encourages Dishonesty

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What is it about the financial sector that encourages bad behavior?

December 30, 2014 |By Francesca Gino

A paper recently published in Nature magazine found that the financial sector’s culture encourages dishonesty.

For the study published in Nature, Alain Cohn and his colleagues divided 128 employees of a large bank into two groups. In the first group, bankers were primed to think about their professional identity, with questions such as “what is your function at this bank?” Bankers in the second group, instead, completed a survey about their wellbeing and everyday life that did not include questions about to their professional life. Next they all tossed a virtual coin 10 times, in private, knowing each time which outcome would earn them $20 for the flip. They then had to report their results online to claim any winnings. The second group of bankers behaved honestly—reporting half heads, half tails—but there was cheating among those whose professional identity had been primed. In their case, in fact, the percentage of winning tosses came in at an incredibly fortunate 58.2 percent. Interestingly, the researchers also conducted the same experiment in other industries but did not find the same skewing when employees were primed to think about their work.

The authors conclude that the prevailing business culture in the banking industry weakens and undermines honesty.

Research in moral psychology and behavioral ethics, however, suggests that the dishonesty may be due something more basic: money and number crunching are an important part of the banking industry.

When people are focused on money, research shows, they behave in self-interested ways. Even thinking about money leads people to be less helpful and fair in their dealings with others, to be less sensitive to social rejection, and to work harder toward personal goals. In fact, money can make us so focused on our selfish motives that it can even lead to unethical behavior.

Full Story: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/banking-culture-encourages-dishonesty/

Written by bothernews

December 31, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Posted in Business, Corruption

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New NSA Documents Shine More Light into Black Box of Executive Order 12333

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In the NSA’s own words, EO 12333 is "the primary source of the NSA’s foreign intelligence-gathering authority."

Surveillance conducted under EO 12333 is implemented almost entirely by the executive branch, without review by Congress or the courts. EO 12333 lacks even the plainly inadequate legislative and judicial checks on the two more well-known surveillance authorities — Section 215 of the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act.