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July 9, 2013
NSA leaker Snowden claimed U.S. and Israel co-wrote Stuxnet virus
The Stuxnet virus, which was slated to have caused mass damage at Iran's nuclear facilities, was co-written by the U.S. and Israel, according to additional leaks published by German media. The weaponized malware specifically targeted the facilities in order to slow down the alleged plan by the Middle Eastern country to develop a nuclear weapon. The destruction caused by the virus was slated to have set the country's efforts back by at least 18 months.
- Read more: NSA leaker Snowden claimed U.S. and Israel co-wrote Stuxnet virus (CBS News)
Image via CNET
Source: Der Spiegel
July 11, 2013
Microsoft accused of handing NSA access to encrypted messages; denied by software giant
The Guardian published details that pointed the finger at Microsoft as being a close collaborator with the National Security Agency, citing a document that was not published. A system exists where the NSA was able to automate the process in which orders under the FISA and the Patriot Act are issued to data-holding companies.
Among the allegations, the files provided by Snowden seem to show Microsoft helped the NSA "circumvent its encryption" to enable Web chats to be intercepted in its Hotmail replacement, Outlook.com. The report cites an NSA internal December newsletter, stating that Microsoft "developed a surveillance capability" to deal with encryption issues.
The software giant later denied the claims, stating there were "significant inaccuracies in the interpretations of leaked government documents reported in the media last week." Microsoft said it did not "provide or agree to provide any government with direct access to user content or the ability to break our encryption."
- Read more: Microsoft accused of handing NSA access to encrypted messages (ZDNet)
Source: The Guardian
July 16, 2013
Edward Snowden files asylum request in Russia
It wasn't much of a surprise when Edward Snowden filed paperwork with the Russian government to request asylum away from the U.S. government. As the biggest "frenemy" to the U.S., it only further outraged the West.
According to his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden "faces persecution by the U.S. government and he fears for his life and safety and that he could be subjected to torture and capital punishment." But in order to save face with the Western states, Russian president Vladimir Putin warned Snowden not to further damage the country's already tepid relationship with the U.S..
- Read more: Edward Snowden files asylum request in Russia (CBS News)
Image via CBS News