On Wednesday the company announced its entry into the voice-activated virtual assistant race with Google Home, its answer to the Amazon Echo.Google Home promises to live alongside you wherever you reside, answering your questions, playing your music and reading your news, much like its popular rival.It ll also have Google search built in, which means it ll know a lot about you as soon as you sign in.According to its makers, Google Home is a sleek little device that will learn your music tastes, your commute and your daily plans — with your permission, of course, a spokesman said — and will use that information to tailor itself to your needs.Predators can already hack our baby monitors and computer cameras, and as Gizmodo reported this week, the FBI can neither confirm nor deny that it has wiretapped Amazon Echo devices.You can also turn off the Echo s microphone, though it s unclear whether even that could stop the National Security Agency from listening in.
"We've already had some indications of that," said James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, according to AP.But the revelation is not totally surprising: The Chinese government reportedly hacked both Obama and McCain in 2008, and hackers tried repeatedly to break into the campaign accounts of Obama and Romney in 2012.The Romney campaign was "under constant attack," Digital Director Zac Moffatt told Time Magazine."Four or five times a week."According to CNN, Clapper said both the FBI and DHS were working to educate the campaigns about cyber threats.Hackers working for foreign governments can gain valuable insight into a presidential candidate's mindset before they take office, or uncover private communications that might give their country a leg up in diplomatic negotiations.In 2008, for example, a letter Sen. John McCain sent to the president of Taiwan was intercepted by hackers from China.And on the flip side, the US government does much the same thing to many world leaders, as the massive leaks out of the National Security Agency from former contractor Edward Snowden have demonstrated.The Clinton and Trump campaigns did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Read the original article on Tech Insider.More from Tech Insider:12 of history's greatest philosophers reveal the secret to happinessThe nation's top spy says hackers are spying on presidential candidatesThis wearable exoskeleton could one day turn your grandparents into cyborgsA new trailer for the 'Ghostbusters' reboot is here and it's much better than the firstSunday s 'Game of Thrones' director was surprised by fan reactions to this brief character interactionNOW WATCH: Hackers showed us how easy it is to secretly clone a security badgeLoading video...
Fresh NSA files reveal 2002 probe into Putin's suspected links with organised crime in St PetersburgIn the early 2000s, intelligence experts at the US National Security Agency NSA successfully intercepted calls from the phone of a Russian crime boss in order to probe suspected links with Vladimir Putin, it has been revealed."State wanted to learn whether there were any links between the St Petersburg syndicate and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had been deputy mayor of St Petersburg in the mid-1990s," said the 2003 document from an internal NSA newsletter called SIDToday, produced by the agency's Signals Intelligence Directorate.As such, the release, which is labelled TS/SI for Top Secret, provides previously unknown insight into how the NSA – in its own words – "attacks" new intelligence targets from scratch."The Office of Crime and Narcotics OCN is now issuing SIGNT reports based on intercept of Kumaran's telephone," wrote the chief of NSA's Transnational Organised Crime Branch at the time.Headquarters of the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland, USAllegations of corruptionLast year, a number of officials with reported links to Putin were named in a high-profile Spanish investigation that examined how members of the Tambov crime syndicate expanded into Spain in 1996, while Putin was the deputy mayor of St Petersburg.In the investigation after his death, it emerged that Litvinenko, a former KGB spy, claimed in a report that "Putin's enforcer" Viktor Ivanov had close ties with crime gangs involved in cocaine smuggling.
Snowden appeared via satellite link in the Australian city of Melbourne last night, live from Russia where he resides under temporary asylum after leaking classified documents that revealed the extent of the modern global western government intelligence apparatus.The AFP Friday raided the office of Labor power-broker and former comms minister Stephen Conroy and the home of a staffer of shadow communications minister Jason Clare."Snowden cites the nation's "drag net" data retention and anti-whistleblower laws in which citizen metadata is retained for two years, and those who leak national security documents may be imprisoned.Former Pentagon investigator John Crane has today told The Guardian how the agency became a trap for whistleblowers, including forerunner NSA leaker Thomas Drake."If someone is saying I don't care about the right to privacy because I've got nothing to hide' that's no different to saying 'I don't care about freedom of speech because I have nothing to say'," Snowden says.Snowden also spoke of the power of metadata, suggesting it is more valuable than content because it provides the investigator with similar intelligence while often foregoing the need to acquire warrants.
Apple has rehired Jon Callas, co-founder of Silent Circle, the company behind the Blackphone.Silent Circle is a security company that offers encrypted software services, as well as secure devices like the Blackphone and the Blackphone 2.The tech community, privacy advocates, and human rights groups agreed.The FBI dropped the case a mere day before the court date, as it managed to gain access into the phone after paying professional gray hat hackers.These companies have complied in the past, but ever since the National Security Agency leaks by Edward Snowden in 2013, there has been an increased resistance in giving consumer data away.Apple said it would make iOS and its upcoming devices even more secure, hoping to keep out not only the government, but also cyber criminals.
The National Security Agency is perhaps the most secretive of the 17 intelligence agencies that make up the sophisticated US spy network.Created in secret in 1952, the NSA was once jokingly referred to as "No Such Agency" or "Never Say Anything."But now, especially after a flood of top secret documents were leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden, NSA is a household name.The agency, previously shy about official statements and transparency, now has websites dedicated to its own message surrounding the leaks.And the official in charge of its elite hacker unit — which it denied even existed before Snowden — gave a public talk in February.Tech Insider was recently in Washington to cover a DARPA event at the Pentagon, so we decided to make a slight detour out to the National Cryptologic Museum, a public facility that's just a stone's throw away from NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Md.Here's what's inside.View As: One PageSlides
The National Security Agency will neither confirm nor deny the stuff you buy in its gift shop.The boilerplate Glomar Response — the government agency equivalent of "no comment" when asked for documents — caught our eye while checking out the NSA's museum right outside its fenced walls at Fort Meade, Md.There on the window outside the NSA's gift shop there's a gift shop?!stood a lone sign saying the agency didn't endorse any of this stuff.You can buy our merchandise, people, but don't come knocking on the door asking for refunds.Check out what we found inside.View As: One PageSlides
As Apple s battle with the FBI over the San Bernardino shooter s iPhone played out earlier this year, the tech giant vowed to find more ways to secure its devices so that eventually even Apple itself would not be able to access customer data, or help anyone else do it.This month, Apple hired, or rather rehired, Jon Callas, who has a long and storied career in crypto and security.Just as importantly, he worked for Apple in the past to secure its operating system and develop whole disk encryption for Apple computers.After Edward Snowden leaked thousands of NSA documents to reporters in 2013, critics condemned him for going to the media instead of following established protocols for reporting wrongdoing internally at the NSA.In the first incident, the technician operating Clinton s controversial server thought the server was under attack and shut it down for a few minutes, apparently believing this was an adequate response to an intrusion attempt.Instead, they could obtain the data by simply sending a National Security Letter—essentially a self-issued subpoena—to ISPs seeking the data.
Photograph: Brendan Mcdermid/ReutersBritish people are not demanding more transparency from the intelligence services as loudly as Americans, the former director of the US National Security Agency NSA and CIA has said.On the next page he said Snowden highlighted the need for a broad cultural shift in terms of transparency and what constitutes consent.That is no longer the pattern, it is the private sector … we are going through a cultural adjustment.But he added the suite of usable techniques had been reduced from 13 to six and the interrogator believed he would have got information if that had not been the case.The UK, he said, referring to the killing of Jihadi John , has now joined the queue .The jihadist narrative is that there is undying enmity between Islam and the modern world so when Trump says they all hate us, he s using their narrative … he s feeding their recruitment video.
Edward Snowden fled the US after leaking classified details in 2013By Sky News US TeamEdward Snowden performed a "public service" by triggering a national debate about secret domestic surveillance programmes, a former US Attorney General said.In a podcast released on Monday, Eric Holder said the former National Security Agency contractor should still return to the US to face trial.Snowden leaked classified details in 2013 of the US government's surveillance of its citizens before fleeing the country.He now lives in Russia and faces charges that could mean up to 30 years in prison if he returns to the US.He said: "We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate we engaged in and by the changes that we made."But in deciding what an appropriate sentence should be, a judge could take into account the usefulness of having that national debate."
View photosMoreHttps%3a%2f%2fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f101035%2fbba8d5ccf638403f9fd3e93de7e2c537Whistleblower Edward Snowden has taken aim at Australia's metadata retention laws, which he claims violate the personal freedoms of all Australians.Snowden is the former National Security Agency contractor who was responsible for the massive leak of classified government documents in 2013, which showed the U.S. government was spying on ordinary American citizens without their knowledge.Discussing the controversial Australian metadata laws, which were passed in March 2015 and allow the Australian government to access two years worth of your metadata, Snowden said the Orwellian surveillance of Australians is a violation of liberty and we all deserve privacy as a basic right."Your chances that your data will be viewed by law enforcement is low ... Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear.""It comes down to this: Journalists writing legitimate news stories in the public interest now have police trawling through their private metadata all because a government agency is embarrassed about a leak," he wrote."So you can think about what you believe in, you can think about what you care about, you can associate with whoever you want, you can go to whichever church you want, you can read any book you want at the library," he said.
That case, known as Smith v. Maryland, is what has provided the legal underpinning for lots of surveillance programs, ranging from local police all the way up to the National Security Agency.Smith, 442 U.S. at 743 internal quotation marks and citation omitted .In the decision, the judges also noted that the Supreme Court has "forged a clear distinction" between metadata "non-content" and content.In the Fourth Circuit s finding, CSLI "undeniably belongs in the non-content category," but the court noted that "Congress remains free to require greater privacy protection if it believes that desirable."Eventually, Aaron Graham and Eric Jordan were charged with 17 counts of robbery, including the pair of fast food robberies.Prosecutors later obtained a court order a lesser standard than a warrant granting disclosure of the defendants CSLI data for various periods totaling 14 days when the suspects were believed to have been involved in robberies.
View photosMoreA man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture.REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/FilesMOSCOW Reuters - Russia's FSB security service said on Wednesday it had helped arrest members of what it said was an organized criminal group of hackers who stole 1.7 billion roubles $25.42 million from the accounts of Russian financial institutions.The FSB said the arrests had been made in 15 different Russian regions simultaneously and that investigators had opened a criminal case into the defendants whom it accused of being part of an organized criminal group and of using computers to perpetrate fraud.It did not name the banks affected or say how many accounts had been compromised.The investigation was still active, it said.$1 66.8790 roubles
UK spy agencies are routinely intercepting email communications from MPs as data passes internationallyIntelligence experts at GCHQ have allegedly had easy access to the email communications of British MPs for years, leading to fears that private and confidential messages may have been compromised or intercepted, an investigation has revealed.However, thanks to UK government's migration to Microsoft's Office 365 in 2014, sensitive information – including email senders, recipients and subject lines – is routinely sent outside UK borders to data centres located in Dublin and the Netherlands – giving the agency free reign to retain it.Indeed, based on a "forensic analysis" of peers' email traffic, ComputerWeekly revealed that over 60% of the communications are routed internationally and that "every message" contained evidence of passing through computers connected to GCHQ.The NSA enters the picture due to its notorious 'Prism' project – which can also reportedly grant "direct access" to parliamentary emails and documents thanks to the 'obligations' it forces upon Microsoft.The reports emerged on the same day Home Secretary Theresa May outlined a number of concessions being made to the Investigatory Powers Bill – which has been branded a Snoopers' Charter by opponents – claiming protections for MPs and journalists should be bolstered in the new law.A Home Office spokesperson said: The government will be bringing forward amendments at report stage and are willing to consider amendments that are in the interest of both improving the bill and of demonstrating the necessity of the powers it contains."
The Home Office has revealed that its ICT losses for 2015 amounted to 125 devices.In a publication today, notably pushed out shortly after The Register's expose of the department's mega database project, the Home Office has published information about its annual ICT losses for 2015.These losses may provoke concern as the Home Office plans for the unregulated mega database involve creating interactive applications which would run on hand-held devices, presumably including the 105 lost BlackBerrys and mobile phones which the department had managed to shed during the last year.Six mobile devices were reported as stolen, bringing the total up to 111..Only one of the lost and stolen was recovered throughout the whole year, raising further questions about access to this enormous database.Fortunately, no removable media was lost or stolen during the period, although that didn't stop the department from suffering 33 data breaches during the period, including one instance in which the Home Office – responsible for the UK's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency, MI5 – lost paper documents containing "sensitive personal information relating to security vetting."Back in January the department responsible counter-terrorism also reported that a Dictaphone was "lost in the home of member of staff", although this seemingly is not included in any of the categories mentioned, and the loss of such devices may ultimately not be reported.
Documents obtained by Vice News through the Freedom of Information Act show that Edward Snowden tried to express his concerns about government surveillance to the NSA before handing over files to journalists.These revelations contradict federal agencies assertion that Snowden never went through proper channels to address concerns over the constitutionality of certain NSA practices.In May 2014, the NSA released an email from Snowden—the only one the agency claimed it could find—which contained a question about legal authority but did not raise allegations or concerns about wrongdoing or abuse.Emails released to Vice News reveal many details the NSA has never made the public aware of, including multiple interactions between Snowden and the NSA Oversight Board, and that Snowden registered complaints about two NSA training programs.Snowden testified to the Eureopean Parliament in 2014:Yes.I had reported these clearly problematic programs to more than ten distinct officials, none of whom took any action to address them.
Your browser does not support HTML5 videoPlayPausePlayPauseMute0%00:00 / 00:00FullscreenSmallscreen Embed Feed cyber securityFormer NSA official and whistleblower Edward Snowden cautioned that Japan is vulnerable to mass surveillance conducted by the US government.According to a report by the Japan Times, Snowden was virtually present at a meeting with around 200 people at a discussion held on the University of Tokyo campus on 4 June.Snowden also said that people's content shared and stored on phones and computers can be legally accessed by the US government for intelligence analysis.Snowden also spoke about citizens' privacy, highlighting that a controversial secrecy law, enacted by the Japanese government in 2013 — the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets — could be perceived as a threat to Japan and its people.Calling the law "fundamentally dangerous to democracy", he also mentioned in a separate interview to the Sunday Mainichi magazine that the controversial law was in fact designed by the US government, which also requested its enactment in efforts to further its surveillance and espionage activity in Japan.The law also gives the government the authority to prosecute and jail those who leak designated classified information, including civil servants, with a maximum of up to 10 years in prison.
Your browser does not support HTML5 videoPlayPausePlayPauseMute0%00:00 / 00:00FullscreenSmallscreen Close Embed Feed Vivienne Westwood outside Ecuadorian embassyWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims that Google has been working closely with US presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton's campaign in efforts to promote the candidate in the race to the White House.Speaking from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, via video conference as part of a two-day media event – the "New Era of Journalism: Farewell to Mainstream", he said: "Google is directly engaged with Hillary Clinton's campaign," the Sputnik reported.Pointing out that Google's former CEO Eric Schmidt is now heading the Pentagon's innovation branch, Assange said: "Google is heavily integrated with Washington power, at personal level and at business level... Google which has increasing control over the distribution channels... is intensely allying itself US exceptionalism.""There is a merger between the corporate organisations and state... 80% of the National Security Agency budget is privatised.Assange has been staying in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012 in efforts to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on sexual allegations, which Assange has denied.The whistleblower fears that if extradited to Sweden, he could be extradited to the US where he is wanted for charges relating to espionage, conspiracy, theft of government property and computer fraud for his involvement in the WikiLeaks revelations.
View photosMoreFILE - In this March 12, 2012 file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her mobile phone after her address to the Security Council at United Nations headquarters.Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, turned over to the State Department 55,000 emails from her private server that were sent or received when she was secretary of state."Start with the entirely plausible view that foreign intelligence services discovered and rifled Hillary Clinton's server," said Stewart Baker, a Washington lawyer who spent more than three years as an assistant secretary of the Homeland Security Department and is former legal counsel for the National Security Agency.A recent State Department inspector general's report indicated the server was temporarily unplugged by a Clinton aide at one point during attacks by hackers, but her campaign has said there's no evidence the server was hacked.Another State Department inspector general report revealed that hacking attempts forced Clinton off her private email at one point in 2011.The email also said: "Her attention was drawn to the sentence that indicates we the diplomatic security office officials have intelligence concerning this vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia."
iPhone HackingOne of the more surprising aspects regarding the locked iPhone 5c involved in the San Bernardino terrorist attack of 2015 was that the FBI was unable to unlock the device by themselves.And as it turns out, it s not necessarily that the task was beyond the NSA s capabilities.In other words, the iPhone 5c was never on the NSA s radar because the people it had an interest in tracking and spying on were using other devices.DON T MISS: Barack Obama tells Jimmy Fallon why his smartphone is so embarrassingIn remarks relayed by The Intercept, Ledgett explained that the NSA only works on exploits for certain devices.With limited resources, the NSA understandably has to focus on just a few devices.Indeed, developing exploits for every smartphone and variation of a mobile OS that hits the market would be nothing short of a waste of time.