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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
September 18, 2013
NSA purchased zero-day exploits from French security firm Vupen
A new report, thanks to a Freedom of Information request by government transparency site MuckRock showed that the U.S. government bought zero-day vulnerabilities and the software to use them from French security company Vupen.
Vupen, which describes itself as a "leading provider of defensive and offensive cyber security intelligence and advanced vulnerability research," essentially finds flaws in software and systems and then sells this data on to governments.
- Read more: NSA purchased zero-day exploits from French security firm Vupen (ZDNet)
Image via CBS News (video)
September 27, 2013
NSA offers details on 'LOVEINT' (that's spying on lovers, exes)
It's not surprising that when NSA analysts are given access to vast amounts of American and foreign personal information, there might a chance they might misuse it for their own personal gain.
The latest, albeit not-as-shocking revelation, was that a handful of NSA staffers misused their security clearance to access data on their lovers and partners. Dubbed LOVEINT, or "love intelligence," there were 12 substantiated instances of intentional misuse of signals intelligence at the NSA -- compared to an average of seven per day of "inadvertent" mistakes, such as the collection of American data.
- Read more: NSA offers details on 'LOVEINT' (that's spying on lovers, exes) (CNET)