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October 5, 2016

Edward Snowden Ties? FBI Arrests Maryland Man For Stealing NSA Documents

Sometime in the last several weeks, FBI agents secretly arrested Harold Martin, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, and conducted a search of his house. Martin, a 51-year-old contractor who worked for the same NSA contractor as Edward Snowden, was found in possession of documents and classified computer files. Additional data and documents were found in the man’s car.

An important distinction should be made between Snowden and Martin. Whereas many of the documents stolen by Snowden related to unwarranted wiretapping and monitoring of citizens as well as spying on allies, Martin’s theft appears to be related to NSA operations which hack into the computer networks of countries like Iran [...]

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January 13, 2016

Former Director: NSA Are the Best Thieving Hackers in the World

General Michael Hayden had some interesting things to say about his former employers, the National Security Agency (NSA).

The former director of the NSA made no qualms while speaking about cyberespionage operations at a recent cybersecurity conference in Miami Beach. Hayden delivered the keynote address at the S4X16 conference, with the night’s topic of focus on hackers targeting critical infrastructure such as power plants and utilities like water and gas.

The former NSA director was quoted by CNN to state:

We steal other people’s stuff in the cyber domain.

The cyber domain is a reference to cyberespionage operations such as Snowden’s revelation that the [...]

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November 10, 2015

Is the NSA Using Zero-Day Exploits before Reporting Them?

According to the NSA, it will report zero-day security vulnerabilities to software vendors “9 out of 10 times.” The other 10% of the time, it won’t say what it does with them, but it does say there are times when the military and national security benefits outweigh the benefit to disclosing vulnerabilities to vendors.

The leaks of Edward Snowden put the agency’s name on the tip of the nation’s tongue a few years back, and research shows it could be decades before Americans know the whole story. It is no longer a question of whether the NSA and other organs of the surveillance state do conduct electronic surveillance on ordinary Americans, but whether or not [...]

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October 27, 2015

Google Stores Your Voice Searches

Google users probably are aware that Google keeps a record of all searches made by a given logged-in user. Likely enough, they also keep track of the data by other means, such as IP address, though this is not advertised. Google does its best to make the tracking into a feature. Occasionally one might actually forget what they’d searched for awhile back, and use the Google history feature to search for something again.

In reality, these searches are likely used to build improved search profiles, so that Google knows better what to serve its users. Potentially, given all the other metadata that Google is able to collect, such searches could also be useful to law [...]

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