Archive for the ‘Government’ Category
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:
“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
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.
In this, our fifth annual Who Has Your Back report, we took the main principles of the prior reports and rolled them into a single category: Industry-Accepted Best Practices. We’ve also refined our expectations around providing users notice and added new categories to highlight other important transparency and user rights issues.
We designed this report to take the basic principles of Who Has Your Back up a notch and see which companies were still leading the pack. Already, our newest report has had a similar effect on the industry as a whole, encouraging companies large and small to strive for more when it comes to standing by their users. In the months since we first told the companies what this year’s criteria would be, we’ve seen significant improvement in company practices. And we hope—and expect—that over the next year, we’ll see even more.
Download the complete Who Has Your Back? 2015: Protecting Your Data From Government Requests report as a PDF.
10:39AM GMT 02 Mar 2015
A US military satellite exploded after detecting an unexplained “sudden spike in temperature”, sending dozens of chunks of debris tumbling into different orbits around Earth.
Air Force Space Command confirmed to SpaceNews.com that the “catastrophic event” came after “a sudden spike in temperature” was detected, followed by “an unrecoverable loss of attitude control”.
The satellite was an ageing component of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program which the US military began developing the in the 1960s to help plan reconnaissance and surveillance missions.
The lost satellite was the 13th to be launched as part of DMSP, designated DMSP-F13, and had been in Earth orbit since 1995.
Like all DMSP satellites it orbited the earth at an altitude of around 500 miles in a “sun-synchronous orbit” – meaning that they flew in a path taking in the north and south poles.
On each path around the earth, which took roughly 101 minutes, they would see a slightly different part of the planet. This would give each satellite a complete view of the entire planet’s surface twice a day.
State Secrets Privilege trumps 4th Amendment? Did we vote for that?
This most recent ruling was in response to the motion for partial summary judgment EFF filed in July 2014 arguing that the NSA’s backbone surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment. The government responded with its own motion for partial summary judgment, asserting several defenses, including the “state secrets” privilege, which permits judges to disregard evidence that would endanger national security if publicly released. In support of its motion, the government filed secret declarations by NSA officials that were available to Judge White, but not to us [EFF] or the public, and the judge relied on this evidence in his order.
Judge White did not rule on the legality or constitutionality of the NSA mass Internet surveillance we challenged. Rather, the court explained that the publicly available information did not paint a complete picture of how the NSA collects Internet traffic, so the court could not rule on the program without looking at information that could constitute “state secrets.”
“Because a fair and full adjudication of the Government Defendants’ defenses would require harmful disclosures of national security information that is protected by the state secrets privilege, the Court must exclude such evidence from the case,” Judge White writes in the decision. “Addressing any defenses involves a significant risk of potentially harmful effects any disclosures could have on national security.”
Also Must Read: Origin and History of the State Secrets Privilege
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.