World
New Snowden Documents Reveal Secret Memos Expanding Spying
The Obama administration has stepped up the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program on U.S. soil to search for signs of hacking
 
This story was co-published with the New York Times. 
 
Without public notice or debate, the Obama administration has expanded the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance of Americans’ international Internet traffic to search for evidence of malicious computer hacking, according to classified NSA documents.
 
In mid-2012, Justice Department lawyers wrote two secret memos permitting the spy agency to begin hunting on Internet cables, without a warrant and on American soil, for data linked to computer intrusions originating abroad — including traffic that flows to suspicious Internet addresses or contains malware, the documents show.
 
The Justice Department allowed the agency to monitor only addresses and “cybersignatures” — patterns associated with computer intrusions — that it could tie to foreign governments. But the documents also note that the NSA sought permission to target hackers even when it could not establish any links to foreign powers.
 
The disclosures, based on documents provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former NSA contractor, and shared with the New York Times and ProPublica, come at a time of unprecedented cyberattacks on American financial institutions, businesses and government agencies, but also of greater scrutiny of secret legal justifications for broader government surveillance.
 
While the Senate passed legislation this week limiting some of the NSA’s authority, it involved provisions in the U.S.A. Patriot Act and did not apply to the warrantless wiretapping program.
 
Government officials defended the NSA’s monitoring of suspected hackers as necessary to shield Americans from the increasingly aggressive activities of foreign governments. But critics say it raises difficult trade-offs that should be subject to public debate.
 
The NSA’s activities run “smack into law enforcement land,” said Jonathan Mayer, a cybersecurity scholar at Stanford Law School who has researched privacy issues and who reviewed several of the documents. “That’s a major policy decision about how to structure cybersecurity in the U.S. and not a conversation that has been had in public.”
 
It is not clear what standards the agency is using to select targets. It can be hard to know for sure who is behind a particular intrusion — a foreign government or a criminal gang — and the NSA is supposed to focus on foreign intelligence, not law enforcement.
 
The government can also gather significant volumes of Americans’ information — anything from private emails to trade secrets and business dealings — through Internet surveillance because monitoring the data flowing to a hacker involves copying that information as the hacker steals it.
 
One internal NSA document notes that agency surveillance activities through “hacker signatures pull in a lot.” Brian Hale, the spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said, “It should come as no surprise that the U.S. government gathers intelligence on foreign powers that attempt to penetrate U.S. networks and steal the private information of U.S. citizens and companies.” He added that “targeting overseas individuals engaging in hostile cyberactivities on behalf of a foreign power is a lawful foreign intelligence purpose.”
 
The effort is the latest known expansion of the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program, which allows the government to intercept Americans’ cross-border communications if the target is a foreigner abroad. While the NSA has long searched for specific email addresses and phone numbers of foreign intelligence targets, the Obama administration three years ago started allowing the agency to search its communications streams for less-identifying Internet protocol addresses or strings of harmful computer code.
 
 
Courtesy: ProPublica.org

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COMMENTS

Ilya Geller

1 year ago

NSA spies on Internet not because it enjoys it, I am absolutely sure NSA is not enthusiastic about all these terrible scandals, which, by the way, only started and will worsen and worsen. I bet - NSA does not like to be known as the Evil.
NSA is forced to spy because the only available technology for NSA was SQL, which is external to data and is based on analyzing queries: NSA spies after queries because it cannot control data.
Fortunately, there is another, my technology.
For the past 70 years SQL (generic name for whatever IBM has done) dominated search for electronic information. It's external to data technology, which helps to distill patterns and statistics based on queries, from outside to data, externally. SQL technology emanates from External Relations theory of Analytic Philosophy: students of Moore, Russell and Wittgenstein established IBM and everybody followed their path.
However, there is Internal Relations theory, which is based on Bradley, Poincare and my ideas. In this theory patterns and statistics are found into structured data.
I discovered and patented how to structure any data: Language has its own Internal parsing, indexing and statistics. For instance, there are two sentences:

a) 'Sam!’
b) 'A loud ringing of one of the bells was followed by the appearance of a smart chambermaid in the upper sleeping gallery, who, after tapping at one of the doors, and receiving a request from within, called over the balustrades -'Sam!'.'

Evidently, that the 'Sam' has different importance into both sentences, in regard to extra information in both. This distinction is reflected as the phrases, which contain 'Sam', weights: the first has 1, the second – 0.08; the greater weight signifies stronger emotional ‘acuteness’.
First you need to parse obtaining phrases from clauses, restoring omitted words, for sentences and paragraphs.
Next, you calculate Internal statistics, weights; where the weight refers to the frequency that a phrase occurs in relation to other phrases.
After that data is indexed by common dictionary, like Webster, and annotated by subtexts.
This is a small sample of the structured data:
this - signify - <> : 333333
both - are - once : 333333
confusion - signify - <> : 333321
speaking - done - once : 333112
speaking - was - both : 333109
place - is - in : 250000
To see the validity of technology - pick up any sentence.

Do you have a pencil?

Being structured data becomes database: the database is absolutely secure, it can contain only legal information (because illegal will be discovered at once).
Personal profiles of structured data have no value neither for NSA nor any crook: they cannot be read and understood in no way. The users finally will get their 101% privacy - see the sample above.
NSA will soon stop to spy and start to do everything legally.
Does not have sense to fight the Government - better to propose something that is suitable for everybody.

CBI notice to KMC for licences issued to Saradha
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the multi-crore rupee Saradha scam, has sent a notice to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) seeking details about the licenses it issued to the tainted group.
 
Addressed to KMC's chief manager (licensing), the notice has sought details about the trade and other licenses given to the Saradha Group of companies.
 
The notice dated June 4, has also sought details about the fees paid to the KMC for issuing the licences as well as information about the nature of business for which they were issued.
 
Reacting to the development, city Mayor Sovon Chatterjee accused the BJP-led central government of diluting the significance of the CBI. 
 
"It's an official letter to the KMC and whatever information they have sought we will provide. "But the way, the central government is diluting the significance of the CBI, its prestige, it really is worrisome," he said on Monday. 
 
KMC councilor Prakash Upadhyay, who had earlier approached the CBI as well as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) accusing Chatterjee of being involved in the scam and "unscrupulously issuing trade licenses to the company, welcomed the move. 
 
"Many had doubted if my fight would yield result, but today I feel vindicated. I have always maintained that Chatterjee was involved and all the truth will come out," he said. 
 
Upadhyay had earlier submitted documents to both the CBI and the ED alleging that Chatterjee, also a legislator of the ruling Trinamool Congress, used his influence to give over 40 trade licences to a company of the Saradha group which has a registered office in Diamond Harbor which falls under his constituency. 

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Sun eclipses India's Mars Orbiter for 15 days
India's maiden Mars mission spacecraft Orbiter got eclipsed early on Monday, with the sun coming in between the red planet and Earth, a space official said.
 
"With Mars moving on one side of the sun, and Earth being on other side, our spacecraft, orbiting around the red planet, is blocked from receiving or sending signals for the next 15 days," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) director Devi Prasad Karnik told IANS here.
 
As Mars and Earth rotate around the sun on the same axis from both sides till June 22, Orbiter will be in a 15-day blackout phase, snapping communication links with the state-run space agency's ground stations here.
 
Orbiting around Mars since September 24, 2014, the 1,340-kg spacecraft is on a six-month extended life after completing its six-month intended lifespan on March 24 by conserving the remaining fuel (37 kg) onboard.
 
"As eclipses or blackouts are a cosmic phenomenon in the solar system, no cause for concern as Orbiter has been put on autonomous mode in advance by feeding the required commands from here to survive the eclipse period," Karnik said.
 
Admitting that it was the first time when the space agency's deep space network at Baylalu, about 30 km from here, would remain cut off from Orbiter for such a long period, Karnik said the spacecraft was, however, equipped and programmed to undergo the transition phase.
 
"Though our command network will not receive or send signals during the blackout, we will regain control over the spacecraft after it emerges out of the Martian shadow to resume contact with our space network again," he said.
 
The space agency's track and command network centre in the city had tested Orbiter's ability to survive a solar eclipse by simulating the conditions earlier.
 
"As Orbiter is on a borrowed life, its longevity and ability to keep spinning around Mars at a safe distance from its hot red surface is a windfall for us," Karnik said.
 
India created history by becoming the first country to enter the Martian orbit in its maiden attempt after a nine-month voyage through the inter-planetary space.
 
India also became the first Asian country to have entered the Mars sphere of influence (gravity) in the maiden attempt, as a similar mission by China failed to succeed in 2011.
 
The $70-million Mars mission was launched on November 5, 2013 onboard a polar rocket from ISRO's spaceport Sriharikota off the Bay of Bengal, about 80 km northeast of Chennai.
 
When launched, Orbiter had 855 kg fuel but consumed about 800 kg for its orbit-raising exercises undertaken during its nine-month long journey and on entering the Martian sphere.
 
"The five scientific instruments onboard Orbiter will continue to collect data and relay them after June 22 to our Earth stations for analysis," Karnik said.
 
Of the five payloads (instruments) onboard, the Mars Colour Camera (MCC) has been the most active, taking stunning images of the red planet's surface and its surroundings, including valleys, mountains, craters, clouds and dust storms.
 
"The camera has beamed many breathtaking pictures of the Martian surface and its weather patterns such as dust storms. We have uploaded some pictures on our website (www.isro.gov.in) and our Facebook account for viewing," he pointed out.
 
The other four instruments have been conducting various experiments to study the Martian surface, its rich mineral composition and scan its atmosphere for methane gas to know if it can support life.
 
"As methane is an indicator of past life on Mars, the sensor is looking for its presence in the Martian orbit. If available, we will know its source in terms of biology and geology. The thermal infrared sensor will find out if the gas is from geological origin," the official added.
 
Scientists at the mission control centre here monitor the orbital movement of the spacecraft around Mars and check the health of its instruments round-the-clock.
 
Orbiter takes 3.2 Earth days or 72 hours, 51 minutes and 51 seconds to go around Mars once while orbiting at a distance of 500 km nearest and over 80,000 km farthest from its red surface.
 

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