Why wouldn’t the government disclose a cybersecurity vulnerability? According to a White House blog post, it could mean foregoing “an opportunity to collect crucial intelligence that could thwart a terrorist attack, stop the theft of our nation’s intellectual property, or even discover more dangerous vulnerabilities that are being used by hackers or other adversaries to exploit our networks,” writes White House cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel.
Twitter says it is prepared to sue the Obama administration for the right to disclose more details about government surveillance requests. In a blog post Thursday, Twitter’s head of global legal policy, Jeremy Kessel, said that a recent agreement between tech groups and the Justice Department did not go far enough to address the company’s concerns.
American telephone metadata was only found to have played a role in initiating 1.8 percent of investigations, with a total contribution from NSA surveillance to investigations coming to 7.5 percent of cases. Traditional investigative methods (informants, community tips, targeted intelligence) provided 59.6 percent of impetus for those investigations, the report states.
Following the controversial disclosures of National Security Agency surveillance practices, a presidential task force is on the verge of proposing a dramatic overhaul of the agency, CBS News reports. The task force’s draft report is due Sunday, and will be released for public review before the end of the year. The goal, the article says, is to roll out the new NSA procedures in January, most of which will be enacted through internal administration procedural changes.
Eight major technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, are joining forces to call for tighter controls on government surveillance, according to The Associated Press. The companies say in an open letter to President Barack Obama that while they sympathize with national security concerns, recent revelations make it clear that laws should be carefully tailored to balance them against individual rights.
In an effort to thwart snooping from the NSA and other entities, Twitter has implemented "perfect forward secrecy," which should make it impossible to decrypt any stolen or eavesdropped communication in the future.
Close to 1.5 percent of the Internet’s top websites track users without their knowledge or consent, even when visitors enable their browser’s Do Not Track options, according to a research team in Europe.
The NSA has been using its collections of data since November 2010 to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, a New York Times article reports.