Documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal programs to track targets, spread information and manipulate online debates

The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has developed sophisticated tools to manipulate online polls, spam targets with SMS messages, track people by impersonating spammers and monitor social media postings, according to newly-published documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The documents – which were published on First Look Media with accompanying analysis from Glenn Greenwald – disclose a range of GCHQ “effects” programs aimed at tracking targets, spreading information, and manipulating online debates and statistics.

The disclosure comes the day before the UK parliament is due to begin up to three days’ debate on emergency legislation governing British surveillance capabilities. With cross-party support the bill is expected to be voted through this week.

Among the programs revealed in the document are:

• GATEWAY: the “ability to artificially increase traffic to a website”.

• CLEAN SWEEP which “masquerade[s] Facebook wall posts for individuals or entire countries”.

• SCRAPHEAP CHALLENGE for “perfect spoofing of emails from BlackBerry targets”.

• UNDERPASS to “change outcome of online polls”.

• SPRING BISHOP to find “private photos of targets on Facebook”.

The document also details a range of programs designed to collect and store public postings from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, and to make automated postings on several of the social networks.

Capabilities to boost views of YouTube videos, or to boost the circulation of particular messages are also detailed. …

NSA data shows that 90 percent of people surveilled are innocent Americans whom the agency is legally prohibited from spying upon. Cory Doctorow looks at what the NSA means when it says “targeted.”


#spy crap #fuck the nsa

Information Commissioner’s Office reported to be looking into study in which postings for 700,000 users were secretly altered

Facebook is being investigated to assess whether an experiment in which it manipulated users’ news feeds to study the effect it had on moods might have broken data protection laws, it has been reported.

The Information Commissioner’s Office is said to be looking into the experiment carried out by the social network and two US universities in which almost 700,000 users had their news feeds secretly altered to study the impact of “emotional contagion”.

The ICO said it was too early to tell what part of the law Facebook might have infringed, the Financial Times reported. …

… Many users reacted angrily following online reports of the findings, which were published in the 17 June edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Some referred to it as “creepy”, “evil”, “terrifying” and “super disturbing”. …

‘Facebook has done so many things over the years that scared and freaked out people.’

A Facebook researcher apologized after conducting an experiment that temporarily influenced what almost 700,000 readers saw on their news feeds, reviving some customers’ concerns about privacy issues.

The number of positive and negative comments that users saw on their feeds of articles and photos was altered in January 2012, according to a study published June 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. People shown fewer positive words were found to write more negative posts, while the reverse happened with those exposed to fewer negative terms, according to the trial of random Facebook users.

Adam Kramer, a Facebook data scientist who was among study’s authors, wrote on his Facebook page yesterday that the team was “very sorry for the way the paper described the research and any anxiety it caused.”

The data showed that online messages influence readers’ “experience of emotions,” which may affect offline behavior, the researchers said. Some Facebook users turned to Twitter to express outrage over the research as a breach of their privacy.

“Facebook knows it can push its users’ limits, invade their privacy, use their information and get away with it,” said James Grimmelmann, a professor of technology and the law at the University of Maryland. “Facebook has done so many things over the years that scared and freaked out people.”

Even so, the anger won’t have a long-lasting effect, Grimmelmann said. While some users may threaten to leave Facebook, most people “want to be where there friends are” and there is no alternative to the social networking site that provides more privacy, he said. …

… The Facebook study is “really important research” that shows the value of receiving positive news and how it improves social connections, said James Pennebaker, a psychology professor at the University of Texas. Facebook might have avoided some of the resulting controversy by allowing users to opt out of taking part in any research, he said.

“It will make people a little bit nervous for a couple of days,” he said in an interview. “The fact is, Google knows everything about us, Amazon knows a huge amount about us. It’s stunning how much all of these big companies know. If one is paranoid, it creeps them out.” …

Lemme get this straight. One arrogant fuckwit figures no one will quit fb after this mindfuck because everyone’s friends are there? Fucking spare me. It’s ‘their’ friends, not ‘there’ friends too, also. Another arrogant asshole, a university of texASS psychology professor ‘thinks’ that only the paranoid are concerned about all these companies having shedloads of info about us? He sounds just like those “You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide!” party line-spewing robotic shills.

digitaldiscipline:

aphchuugoku:

rebel-vargas:

aph-lovelies:

hella-of-hella:

stuckonprospit:

miraakthesecond:

ask-pigpeter:

karliemornis:

yourgaytailor:

amatory-milksop:

tsundere-saurus-rex:

stoneagechronicles:

punkqueer:

TAKE ACTION

Post to your Facebook & Twitter: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/2594-july-4th-protest-nsa-spying

Protest on July 4th: http://www.RestoreTheFourth.net

Find out about other actions: http://CallForFreedom.org

Not normally this blog’s topic, but this needs to be spread like crazy. Internet privacy is a big fucking deal, and 83 notes on this as I reblog this is pathetic.

If you dont reblog this, I will judge you so hard

I hope they have fun seeing all of my porn.

Hope they like gay fanfictions 

hope they like gay homestuck porn

NSA, if you like my posts, there’s a follow button in the corner….

hope they like hentai, gay hentai, clop, gay clop, RP’s ERP’s and more

I hope they like gay fanfiction and homestuck

I hope you ship jeanmarco 

I hope you ship personified nations

I hope you ship lesbian assassins

I hope you like gay nations.

Look, I’m as down on government surveillance as anyone, and probably moreso, but… tumblr posts ain’t private (that’s kind of the point of posting them). Likes aren’t necessarily private, either - some folks have theirs visible to followers and non-followers alike.

Messages getting read? Yeah, that’s shifty.

Do yourself a favor in advance of the Fourth - install an extension like HTTPS Everywhere to at least visit the secure/encrypted versions of every site you go to that supports it (note: this does cause some fuckery with LiveJournal commenting)

If you don’t have tumblr tied to a generic or throwaway email account - even if it’s a Yahoo one - it’s not a bad idea.

Privacy online is an endangered species, but there’s a little bit you can do for yourselves even if you don’t want to be bothered trying to go deep in the weeds.

And telling the NSA to go fuck itself with the 4th Amendment is a fine thing to do.

#Fuck the nsa

The Privacy Pack

resetthenet:

The Reset the Net privacy pack will be a selection of software and tips tailored to common computers, phones, and tablets that literally anyone can use.

Our goal is to accommodate literally everyone, and offer bonus tools and instructions for more technical users. Since the tools will be pretty much universal, it should be easy for people to share the privacy packs with friends.

It’ll provide tools and tips for iPhone, Android, Mac, Windows, and GNU/Linux, and everything will be free software.

Here’s what we’re offering…

Read More

#fuck the nsa

So there’s the entire problem, expressed in four simple ideas: the internet is a utility, there is zero meaningful competition to provide that utility to Americans, all internet providers should be treated equally, and the FCC is doing a miserably ineffective job. The United States should lead the world in broadband deployment and speeds: we should have the lowest prices, the best service, and the most competition. We should have the freest speech and the loudest voices, the best debate and the soundest policy. We are home to the most innovative technology companies in the world, and we should have the broadband networks to match.

The US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has warned that entire populations, rather than just individuals, now live under constant surveillance.

“It’s no longer based on the traditional practice of targeted taps based on some individual suspicion of wrongdoing,” he said. “It covers phone calls, emails, texts, search history, what you buy, who your friends are, where you go, who you love.”

Snowden made his comments in a short video that was played before a debate on the proposition that surveillance today is a euphemism for mass surveillance, in Toronto, Canada. The former US National Security Agency contractor is living in Russia, having been granted temporary asylum there in June 2013.

The video was shown as two of the debaters – the former US National Security Administration director, General Michael Hayden, and the well-known civil liberties lawyer and Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz – argued in favour of the debate statement: “Be it resolved state surveillance is a legitimate defence of our freedoms.”

Opposing the motion were Glenn Greenwald, the journalist whose work based on Snowden’s leaks won a Pulitzer Prize for the Guardian last month, and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of the social media website Reddit.

The Snowden documents, first leaked to the Guardian last June, revealed that the US government has programs in place to spy on hundreds of millions of people’s emails, social networking posts, online chat histories, browsing histories, telephone records, telephone calls and texts – “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet”, in the words of one leaked document.

Greenwald opened the debate by condemning the NSA’s own slogan, which he said appears repeatedly throughout its own documents: “Collect it all.” …

Gender, schmender!

#THE GOD’S HONEST TRUTH

Gender, schmender!

#THE GOD’S HONEST TRUTH

Police notice, Tibet, 1993

Via wikipedja by way of dear Edosan

Police notice, Tibet, 1993

Via wikipedja by way of dear Edosan


… We all know by now that the NSA and the UK’s Government Communication Headquarters are reading our emails, listening to our phone conversations, storing our metadata and using our computers and phones to watch us. A bunch of dorky guys amassing huge collections of pictures of tits and dicks. Here they are, hard at work, protecting us:



I know I feel safer now! Happy viewing, guys! If we had any doubts before, now we know that the government doesn’t trust us – so very many of us – and we certainly don’t trust it. …


… Trading our privacy for the convenience of a Google search is not so different from giving up constitutionally protected freedoms in exchange for the “security” that our government claims to offer. At least with Google and other tech services we know we’re getting something; whether we actually are more secure because of the NSA’s surveillance is an unresolved question. We are frequently told that this indiscriminate data collection has produced valuable results, but those results are “secret,” so you’ll just have to trust the government. I’m not saying we don’t need strong security measures to protect us from lunatics, but this dragnet surveillance has gone way beyond meeting that need.


Cyber thieves, for their part, don’t offer the average internet user anything in return – not only that, but they make money selling information about the security gaps they find to the US government. It’s an open question whether the government actually wants to patch up those holes and make the internet more secure. For now, it’s in its interest to keep these holes open – available for future use, but secret. And we know how good the government is at keeping secrets.


To a lot of folks it appears that the corporations, the thieves and the government are all doing exactly the same thing: the “legal” behavior and the illegal theft are cousins. Spying and cyber theft are not freak phenomena; increasingly, they appear to be unavoidable consequences of online access as it now exists. …


NSA general counsel Rajesh De contradicts months of angry denials from big companies like Yahoo and Google

Reblog if you think it’s okay to be homosexual

andrysb24:

fumareta-hana:

fumareta-hana:

I need to prove a point to my homophobic friend.

I’m writing down the urls of everyone who reblogs this in a notebook, and will present it to my friend when it is sufficiently full.
image

You’re gonna need a bigger book

People who are obsessed with others’ private lives and what they do with their private parts are more than a little twisted. Gender, schmender!

Edward Snowden was clearly acting as a whistle-blower in revealing documentation of the NSA’s shocking dragnet that collects information about the phone calls, emails and other communications of virtually all Americans.

And yet the government has thus far chosen to prosecute him for criminal violations of the Espionage Act and will likely seek a life sentence once Snowden is in custody.

Rick Ledgett, the hand-picked head of the White House’s task force on the NSA has said that he could support amnesty if Snowden would stop any additional leaks. And former high-ranking State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter announced her support for the New York Times editorial board’s call for clemency.

“When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government,” writes the Times. And as the editorial notes, for Snowden there was no other recourse that would have brought the NSA’s abuses to light.

The White House and its Department of Justice can ensure that in the wake of the constitutional crisis brought to light by Snowden, our constitutional rights are restored and the NSA is reformed. The president, White House officials, attorney general and Department of Justice staff should read this editorial, and summon up the courage to take action.  …

Ta much, dear Edosan!

Ta much, dear Edosan!