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September 16, 2013
NSA snoops on credit card transactions, says report
New light was shed on the NSA's "Follow the Money" division, which allowed the U.S. spy agency to tap into the vast amount of financial data held by Visa and other credit and debit card providers.
While Visa told German media that it was "not aware of any unauthorized access" to its networks, the NSA was still reportedly able to collate 180 million records in a secret database -- with 84 percent of those records being credit card transactions.
- Read more: NSA snoops on credit card transactions, says report (ZDNet)
Source: Der Spiegel
September 16, 2013
Belgacom clears up after hack attempt
The main telco in Belgium said it was dealing with the aftermath of an intrusion in its systems. The first suspect to mind was the NSA, which according to sources claimed the U.S. intelligence agency has been hacking into the telephone and Internet provider since early 2011.
Not long after and not far along the European western coast, three Dutch ministers said they had "no evidence" to suggest that major Internet provider in The Netherlands, KPN, was targeted by foreign intelligence agencies.
- Read more: Belgacom clears up after hack attempt (ZDNet)
Image: Wikimedia Commons
(Source: Belgacom; De Standard)
September 17, 2013
U.S. secret surveillance court rules phone metadata collection lawful
Another blow for civil liberties as the U.S. secret court that authorized massive data collection -- and in some cases ruled its activities "illegal" -- upheld the NSA's bulk metadata collection program as ultimately within the bounds of law.
The judges in the FISC said there is "no Constitutional impediment to the requested production" of metadata from phone companies order to hand over "all tangible things" under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
Aware of the public's reaction to the Snowden disclosures, the court's opinion was declassified in a bid to allay fears of lack of transparency within the secret court.
- Read more: U.S. secret surveillance court rules phone metadata collection lawful (ZDNet)
Image: National Security Agency