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)
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.