Here’s one way to land on the NSA’s watch list

If you downloaded the privacy software Tor in 2011, you may have been flagged to be spied on

Last week, German journalists revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) has a program to collect information about people who use privacy-protecting services, including popular anonymizing software called Tor. But it's not clear how many users have been affected.

So we did a little sleuthing, and found that the NSA's targeting list corresponds with the list of directory servers used by Tor between December 2010 and February 2012 – including two servers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Tor users connect to the directory servers when they first launch the Tor service.

That means that if you downloaded Tor during 2011, the NSA may have scooped up your computer's IP address and flagged you for further monitoring. The Tor Project is a non-profit that receives significant funding from the US government.

The revelations were among the first evidence of specific spy targets inside the United States. And they have been followed by yet more evidence. The Intercept revealed this week that the government monitored email of five prominent Muslim-Americans, including a former Bush Administration official.

It's not clear if, or how extensively, the NSA spied on the users of Tor and other privacy services.

After the news, one of Tor's original developers, Roger Dingledine, reassured users that they most likely remained anonymous while using the service: "Tor is designed to be robust to somebody watching traffic at one point in the network – even a directory authority." It is more likely that users could have been spied on when they were not using Tor.

For its part, the NSA says it only collects information for valid foreign intelligence purposes and that it "minimizes" information it collects about U.S. residents. In other words, NSA may have discarded any information it obtained about U.S. residents who downloaded Tor.

However, according to a recent report by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, the NSA's minimization procedures vary by program. Under Prism, for example, the NSA shares unminimized data with the FBI and CIA.

In addition, the NSA can also later search the communications of those it has inadvertently caught in its Prism dragnet, a tactic some have called a " backdoor" search. It's not clear if similar backdoors exist for other types of data such as IP addresses.

In response to the Tor news, the NSA said it is following President Obama's January directive to not conduct surveillance for the purpose of "suppressing or burdening criticism or dissent, or for disadvantaging persons based on their ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion."

[Disclosure: Mike Tigas is the developer of an app that uses Tor, called the Onion Browser.]

We updated our chart of NSA revelations to include monitoring of privacy software.

For the geeks, here are the IP addresses listed in the NSA Xkeyscore code and when they were added or removed from the list of Tor directory servers:
Added: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 15:31:08 -0400 (14:31 -0500)
Added: Sat, 8 Apr 2006 17:03:49 -0400 (21:03 +0000)
Added: Sat, 5 Nov 2005 16:20:51 -0400 (20:20 +0000)
Added: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 10:56:08 -0400 (16:56 +0200)
Removed: Wed, 29 Feb 2012 14:22:41 -0400 (13:22 -0500)
Added: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 08:10:19 -0400 (13:10 +0100)
Added Wed, 14 Oct 2009 19:36:08 -0400 (19:36 -0400)
Added: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 17:20:45 -0400 (21:20 +0000)
Removed: on Wed, 4 Apr 2012 19:51:04 -0400 (01:51 +0200)
Added: Mon, 10 Aug 2009 01:32:51 -0400 (01:32 -0400)



Sensex, Nifty readying for a short upmove – Monday closing report
If Nifty holds today’s low, Nifty can move up by 100 points or so

The market seemed quite indecisive today. Nifty hit the lowest since 5th June 2014. However, Nifty managed to make a recovery from the day’s low and closed only marginally lower. Market today awaited the announcement of the rate of inflation based on the wholesale price index (WPI) for the month of June 2014.
The Sensex opened at 25,093 and moved in the range of 24,892 and 25,096 and closed at 25,007 (down 17 points or 0.07%). The Nifty opened at 7,469 and moved between 7,422 and 7,478 and closed at 7,454 (down 5 points or 0.07%). The NSE recorded a lower volume of 77.43 crore shares. India VIX fell 1.01% to close at 15.5625.
Among the other indices on the NSE, the top five gainers were Infra (1.00%), Nifty Midcap 50 (0.99%), Auto (0.89%), Metal (0.81%) and PSU Bank (0.73%) while the top five losers were IT (1.35%), Media (1.17%), Pharma (0.55%), FMCG (0.49%) and MNC (0.47%).
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 24 ended in the green. The top five gainers were Hindalco (4.35%), Asian Paints (3.89%), PNB (3.72%), Tata Power (3.48%) and Bank of Baroda (2.68%). The top five losers were HCL Technologies (3.29%), Hindustan Unilever (3.09%), Infosys (3.06%), Wipro (2.32%) and ACC (1.87%).
Of the 1,586 companies on the NSE, 587 companies closed in the green, 952 companies closed in the red while 47 companies closed flat.
Inflation based on the WPI eased to 5.43% in June 2014, from 6.01% in May 2014. Core inflation or non-food manufacturing inflation edged up to 3.9% in June 2014, from 3.8% in May 2014. WPI inflation for April 2014 was revised upwards to 5.55%, from 5.2% reported earlier.
Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das said that the government would shortly take a view on whether tax law General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) should be implemented from the scheduled date of April 2015.
According to the SABB/HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), India saw the steepest expansion in output since February 2013. SABB/HSBC EMI is a monthly indicator derived from the PMI surveys, indicated stronger output growth across global emerging markets in June.
Oriental Bank (5.62%), top gainer in the ‘A’ group on the BSE, submitted to BSE a copy of minutes of the annual general meeting. For FY14-15, the bank is estimating a growth of 14% to 15% in deposits and advances and has planned to add 125 more branches during the period.
The government kept gold import duty unchanged at a record 10% in the budget. Gitanjali Gems (5.58%) was the top loser in the ‘A’ group on the BSE.
The goverment raised export duty on bauxite increased from 10% to 20% in budget. Hindalco (4.15%) top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack may be benefitted by this move.
Rupee today strengthened which affected some software stocks. Except for TCS (up 1.11%) the other two stocks, Infosys (2.97%) and Wipro (2.19%) in the Sensex 30 stock were among the top three losers.
US indices closed in the positive on Friday.
Except for Jakarta Composite (0.23%) and Straits Times (0.08%) all the other Asian indices closed in the positive. Shanghai Composite (0.96%) was the top gainer.
The Bank of Japan concludes a two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday.
European indices were trading in the green. US Futures were also trading higher.


Government slaps additional $579 million penalty on Reliance

Total penalty on Reliance Industries for missing production target in four fiscal years beginning 1 April 2010 now stands at a cumulative $2.376 billion. The penalty is in the form of disallowing costs incurred

The Indian government has slapped an additional penalty of $579 million on Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) for producing less than targeted natural gas from its KG-D6 block.


Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas told the Lok Sabha that with this additional amount, the total penalty on RIL for missing the target in four fiscal years beginning 1 April 2010 now stands at a cumulative $2.376 billion.


The Minister said the penalty is in the form of disallowing costs incurred.


The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) allows RIL and its partners BP Plc and Niko Resources to deduct all capital and operating expenses from the sale of gas before sharing profit with the government.


Disallowing costs will result in government’s profit share rising by $195 million from 2010-11 to 2013-14, the minister said.


In a written reply to a question, Pradhan said gas output from the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 gas field in the eastern offshore KG-D6 block was supposed to be 80 million standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd), but the actual production was only 35.33 mmscmd in 2011-12, 20.88 mmscmd in 2012-13 and 9.77 mmscmd in 2013-14.


This year, the output has been only 8.05 mmscmd.


On 10th July, the Ministry issued a notice disallowing $579 million in cost for output lagging targets in 2013-14.


The Government had previously issued a notice to RIL disallowing $1.797 billion in costs for falling short of production during 2010-11 ($457 million), 2011-12 ($548 million) and 2012-13 ($792 million).


Pradhan said the issue is currently under arbitration.


“The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has also raised a claim of additional profit petroleum to the tune of $115 million to be paid by the contractor, on account of dis-allowance of cumulative contract costs of $1.797 billion, till 2012-13,” he said.


After including cost dis-allowance in 2013-14, the total additional profit for petroleum claimed from RIL comes to $195 million, he said.


“GAIL and Chennai Petroleum (who buy oil and gas produced from KG-D6 block) have been directed to remit the sale proceeds of crude oil/ condensate/ natural gas from KG-DWN-98/3 (KG-D6) block, which falls due immediately into the Government account so as to recover an amount of $115.26 million at the rate of 50% by each company and deposit the same with the government,” he said.


The Minister said RIL had put up production facilities to produce 80 mmscmd of gas but “has failed to adhere to the approved field development plan in terms of drilling and putting on stream the required number of wells''.


The Ministry and its technical arm Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) blames non-drilling of committed wells for the production lagging targets, while RIL and its partners say unexpected geological complexities like sand and water ingress led to output fall.  




2 years ago

The Government alleges that Reliance is under producing from its gas fields due to a pricing issue over gas.The Company states that unexpected geological conditions are the reason for under production.

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.

To continue

Sign Up or Sign In


To continue

Sign Up or Sign In



The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)