Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘spy program

 

NSA targets people searching for anonymity options

TECHNOLOGY – JULY 3, 2014

As more information about the NSA’s spy program leaks, Internet users are exploring encryption options.

A new report suggests searching for privacy software online can make you a target for the NSA.

Source:

SOURCE:

The report published in Tagesschau (English translation) describes the “deep packet inspection” rules used by the NSA’s XKeyscore program to target Internet users for surveillance.

Among the activities that will trigger surveillance by the NSA is searching for information on Tor — anonymous browsing software used by journalists, activists, dissidents, as well as criminal elements.

Tor--The Onion Router--obscures users' identities by routing their Internet traffic through servers (or "nodes") around the world. The open-source project receives much of its funding from the U.S. Dept. of State and Dept. of Defense. Connecting to Tor is necessary to access the so-called Dark Web.SOURCE:

Tor–The Onion Router–obscures users’ identities by routing their Internet traffic through servers (or “nodes”) around the world.

The open-source project receives much of its funding from the U.S. Dept. of State and Dept. of Defense. Connecting to Tor is necessary to access the so-called Dark Web.

The German report found that the NSA had targeted a server in Germany that is used as a directory for Tor nodes. Users who connect to the server are logged and tracked by the agency.

The NSA also scans emails for those requesting access to a “bridge” — a node not listed on the public Tor directory.

In October 2013, the Guardian reported how the NSA and the UK’s GCHQ have made several attempts to penetrate Tor. It is believed that Tor has never been successfully compromised.

The report notes that the NSA and GCHQ, unable to successfully compromise Tor, have instead focused on compromising software commonly used to access Tor such as the popular Tor Browser Bundle.

Until recently the Bundle included a version of Firefox that was susceptible to attack. One such attack occurred last summe

“[The] NSA has unmatched technical capabilities to accomplish its lawful mission. As such, it should hardly be surprising that our intelligence agencies seek ways to counteract targets’ use of technologies to hide their communications…

Our intelligence community would not be doing its job if we did not try to counter that.” NSA SPOKESPERSON

The NSA did not confirm that it has targeted Tor, but told the Guardian that the agency has a rich history of attempting to collect and crack intelligence of foreign states and other adversaries.

A leaked intelligence presentation from June 2012 is titled “Tor Stinks,” and says that the intelligence agency will “never” be able to successfully penetrate Tor.

“The common thread among these stories is that the NSA is subverting the internet and turning it into a massive surveillance tool…

Given how inept the NSA was at protecting its own secrets, it’s extremely unlikely that Edward Snowden was the first sysadmin contractor to walk out the door with a boatload of them.” BRUCE SCHNEIER

Schneier is a well-known computer security expert who has helped the Guardian with its series of electronic surveillance articles.

Worldwide Internet freedom declined in 2013 as governments increased surveillance of what their citizens say and do online, according to Freedom House’s “Freedom on the Net 2013” report.

Though the U.S. dropped 5 points compared to 2012, it’s still considered one of the freest countries online.

 


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