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Snowden Documentary, Citizenfour, Nominated for Best Documentary Oscar

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In the recent years, documentaries have been making a big impact on the topics of discussion we have in our daily life. Last year, Blackfish made headlines for highlighting the mistreatment of Orca whales, also known as “killer whales,” at SeaWorld. This year, it looks like the Edward Snowden documentary called Citizenfour, directed by Laura Poitras, might just be the next movie driving discussion. The Academy Awards lineup was released, and Citizenfour is nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary category.

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“This is a film that got made because a lot of people took a lot of risks,” Poitras told Variety. “This is a celebration of that.”

The film shows how Snowden originally spoke to Poitras, then with journalist Glenn Greenwald, through secure encrypted channels while he was working closely with the NSA. The movie is set in Hong Kong, when Snowden invited both Greenwald and Poitras to visit him and review the NSA documents. Afterward, he flew to Russia and was charged with espionage by the United States government.

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Also read: Edward Snowden Calls Amazon “Morally Irresponsible” For Not Encrypting User Data

Support from Snowden Colleagues

CitizenfourGreenwald, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who originally broke the Snowden story, congratulated Poitras over Twitter following the announcement.

Greenwald is featured in the film working with Snowden while reviewing the plethora of classified documents Snowden leaked.

“You know the public response, and in the press, has been pretty extraordinary for us,” Poitras told the New York Times. “We didn’t know what to expect. We made a film that was unknown outside of a very small circle, and there was a lot of uncertainties. It’s been pretty incredible to see this happen.”

The amount of incriminating and disturbing evidence found in the documents Snowden leaked are growing nearly every day. Skype is compromised, and many people are beginning to try to safeguard themselves from the NSA. Channels like Tor are considered safe by some, compromised by others, and even encrypted messaging apps like Telegram are finding holes in their platform.

Snowden Greenwald

World governments are still trying to close in on citizen communications and activists like Kim Dotcom are developing tools to keep private communications a secret. The next few years will be interesting, and many people are excited that the Academy decided to highlight a film that tackles such a controversial topic.

Images from Laura Poitras.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Clay Gillespie a writer and reporter for many different platforms across the tech industry. He holds a B.S. in Public Relations from Ball State University, and freelances for different clients in technology and cryptocurrency. For more information, visit his personal website, claygillespie.com.




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3 Comments

  1. Grow Well

    January 18, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    The Snowden story is suspect! Glenn Greenwald is suspect! Omidyar is suspect!

    Worth watching!
    Secrets For Sale? The Greenwald/Omidyar/NSA connection.

    Of the many intriguing aspects of the Snowden story, by far one of the most frustrating is that, other than a few interviews and press conferences, almost everything we know about Snowden, his motivations, and the documents themselves come from intermediaries who have found themselves in the position of spokespeople on the case. Even such basic questions as how many documents Snowden leaked is still unclear, with various sources listing anything from 10,000 to 1.7 million documents. If details as basic as these vary so widely between sources, how much more opaque are the more difficult questions of Snowden’s motivations and intentions, let alone the specifics of any deals he may have made with journalists about how this data was to be disseminated?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OCs-x8N47A

  2. Grow Well

    January 18, 2015 at 8:09 pm

  3. Infinite Wealth

    March 16, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Government agencies just dont “allow” people to whistleblow, particularly people that work for them, every person is investigated right the way down to what they eat even before they are employed for an organisation like the CIA or NSA.

    People like Edward Snowdon and Julian Assange are pawns in a much greater game. People know they are being surveilled, people know that wars are created by developed countries and governments, this sort of release of “classified information” is an exercise in control analysis.

    How do you make someone comfortable with something? You expose it to them, after a while of not being able to do anything about it they become comfortable with it, even complicit, you can create anything this way, for example systematically releasing news stories about particular subjects that humans find disturbing, those that it interests will eventually become comfortable with it to be able to act and be drawn into a honeypot. There is NOTHING that these organisations will not attempt to control, ultimately if they cannot control you, they will kill you physically, mentally or financially, I can verify that from experience.

    Terrorist organisations do NOT allow people to get away with whistleblowing, how would somebody steal over 1 million documents unnoticed? It’s an exercise in exposure.

    In the words of Fox Mulder, “Trust No-one!”.

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Coincheck Hackers Launder 40% of Stolen NEM Funds, Experts Say

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The hackers behind Coincheck’s massive NEM heist have successfully offloaded 40% of the stolen funds, according to new research by Tokyo-based consultancy group L Plus. The successful money laundering campaign highlights the ongoing challenges authorities face in bringing cyber criminals to justice.

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Hackers Launder NEM

Analysts at L Plus believe that roughly 200 million NEM tokens, worth $79 million, have already been laundered through the dark web. However, the hackers likely pocketed a much smaller amount amid ongoing efforts to blacklist the tokens.

Nikkei Asian Review reported Monday that Coincheck was targeted with “suspicious traffic” for weeks leading up to the Jan. 26 heist. Citing a person close to the investigation, Nikkei said the attackers hacked an employee email and stole a private key needed to transfer the NEM tokens to the desired accounts. L Plus indicated that the attacker must have repeatedly accessed the Coincheck server to obtain the private key.

When the hack took place, the stolen NEM tokens were worth more than $400 million. Today, they are worth less than half that amount. The identity of the attackers remains unknown to this day. However, authorities have speculated that North Korea may have been responsible for the attack.

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Coincheck plans to resume operations this week following a government-mandated freeze on all trading activity.

Japan Boosts Oversight

The attack has prompted Japan’s financial regulators to step up their oversight efforts of the cryptocurrency market. Last week, regulators penalized seven exchanges after deeming their internal controls insufficient to deal with a cyber attack.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) slapped two exchanges – FSHO and Bit Station – with month-long suspensions. The remaining five exchanges – Bicrements, Coincheck, GMO Coin, Mr. Exchange and Tech Bureau – were given business improvement orders.

The FSA began conducting on-site inspections in late January following the Coincheck attack. Regulators have uncovered several issues, including a lack of customer protection measures and insufficient anti-money laundering controls.

Japan remains one of the most welcoming jurisdictions for cryptocurrency trading, but repeated attacks may prompt regulators to reconsider their relatively lax approach. Digital currency exchanges in Japan and elsewhere face a growing threat from cyber criminals looking to capitalize on the rising value of digital assets.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 410 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Skepticism Grows Over BitGrail’s Supposed $167 Million Hack

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A relatively unknown cryptocurrency exchange by the name of BitGrail has informed its users of a coordinated cyber attack targeting Nano (XRB) tokens. However, the incident does not appear to be holding up to scrutiny after the founder of the exchange made an odd request to the developers of Nano shortly after discovering the alleged theft.

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BitGrail Exchange Allegedly Compromised

The Italian exchange issued a notice to its clients last week informing them that 17 million XRB tokens were compromised in a cyber attack. The XRB token, formerly known known as Raiblocks, is valued at $9.80 at the time of writing for a total market cap of $1.3 billion. That puts the total monetary loss of the supposed heist at nearly $167 million.

Parts of the notice have been translated into English from the original Italian by Tech Crunch, a media company dedicated to startups and technology news. According to the agency,  BitGrail has stated the following:

“… Internal checks revealed unauthorized transactions which led to a 17 million Nano shortfall, an amount forming part of the wallet managed by BitGrail… Today a charge about those fraudulent activities has been submitted to the competent authorities and now is under police investigation.”

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The notice indicated that all transactions have been put on hold until authorities complete their investigation.

Very little is known about BitGrail, as it is not listed among the 183 exchanges whose volume is ranked by CoinMarketCap.

Suspicion Grows

Unlike other crypto heists, the circumstances surrounding the alleged BitGrail attack have been met with widespread suspicion. As David Z. Morris of Fortune rightly notes, this isn’t the first time BitGrail has suspended Nano withdrawals. The same thing happened in early January when the exchange halted not only Nano, but Lisk and CryptoForecast transactions as well.

The suspension was followed by an announcement that the exchange was taking measured steps to verify users and enforce anti-money laundering requirements. It was around this time that users became suspicious that BitGrail was going to cut and run with their tokens.

BitGrail founder Francesco Firano made an unusual request to the developers of Nano following the alleged attack: he asked them to fork their record, a move that would essentially restore the stolen funds.

Nano officially rejected the request on Friday, the day after Firano supposedly discovered the stolen coins. In a post that appeared on the Nano Medium page, the team said:

“We now have sufficient reason to believe that Firano has been misleading the Nano Core Team and the community regarding the solvency of the BitGrail exchange for a significant period of time.”

Last month, hackers made off with more than $400 million worth of NEM tokens stolen from Coincheck, a Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange. The coins have yet to be recovered and the perpetrators remain at large. In 2014, a cyber heist brought down Mt Gox, which was the world’s largest exchange.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 410 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Coincheck Hackers Are Trying to Sell Their Stolen NEM Coins

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hacker extortion bitcoin

The hackers behind the biggest crypto heist of all time are attempting to sell their stolen coins, according to an executive at the NEM Foundation. The revelations are the latest in a four-day saga that has authorities still struggling to identify perpetrators or locate the account in receipt of the stolen funds.

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Hackers Try to Profit

Jeff McDonald, Vice President of the NEM Foundation, said Tuesday that his organization had traced stolen XEM coins to an unidentified address. It was here that the thief tried to unload the stolen funds onto six online exchanges for the purpose of selling them. McDonald said the exchanges have since been notified.

It was not immediately apparent how many of the stolen coins were spent or even the whereabouts of the account. A spokeswoman at the NEM Foundation later said the attacker sent the cryptocurrency to several random accounts in 100-token increments.

Last Friday, the attackers made off with more than $400 million worth of NEM tokens from Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck. The monetary value of the heist has fluctuated several times over the past four days, reflecting regular price moves in NEM’s native XEM token. However, Coincheck said it would reimburse account holders at a rate of 81 U.S. cents per token, which reflects the average price between Jan. 26 and 27.

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Coincheck has been fined administrative penalties for failing to secure client funds. It was later revealed by the executive management team that the exchange failed to implement basic security features, such as multi-signature capability and cold storage. Rather, the XEM tokens were held in accounts connected to the internet.

Although the NEM Foundation is trying to prevent the liquidation of stolen funds, MacDonald said the attackers will likely get away with some of the money. However, the likelihood that they spend all of it is virtually zero given the market’s underlying liquidity constraints.

NEM Price Volatility

News of the heist on Friday triggered significant volatility in the price of XEM and the broader cryptocurrency market. Following a brief recovery, XEM has declined steadily over the past three days, with prices reaching new six-week lows on Tuesday. The coin touched a session low of 79 cents on volumes of more than $32 million. At press time, the coin was worth a little more than 80 cents.

Even with the decline, NEM held on to tenth spot in the global cryptocurrency rankings based on market cap. The coin’s overall value remains well north of $7 billion, according to CCN.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 410 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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