Policy

Turkish citizens fight back against Twitter ban

#twitter blocked in #turkey tonight. folks are painting #google dns numbers onto the posters of the governing party. pic.twitter.com/9vQ7NTgotO

— Engin Onder (@enginonder) March 21, 2014

The people of Turkey are still finding their way into the Twittersphere despite a government ban of the site.

On Thursday, Turkish courts took Twitter offline for the country's 76 million citizens following actions by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. An unabashed critic of social networks, Erdogan has threatened to "wipe out" the site in the wake of a political corruption scandal that has embarrassed the government through news, videos, … Read more

NSA top lawyer says tech giants knew about data collection

The top lawyer for the National Security Agency and others from the Obama administration made it clear to the US government's independent oversight board that tech titans knew about government surveillance while it was going on.

NSA general counsel Rajesh De told the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on Wednesday that tech titans were aware that the NSA was collecting communications and related metadata both for the NSA's "PRISM" program and for "upstream" communications crossing the Internet. PRISM is a surveillance program designed to collect and process "foreign intelligence" that passes … Read more

Homeland Security busts child porn ring on Tor network

The US Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that it has arrested 14 men who were allegedly operating a child pornography Web site on the anonymous Tor network.

The arrests were the culmination of one of the agency's largest ever online child exploitation investigations -- dubbed "Operation Round Table." The authorities have identified 251 victims who were exploited on the site. The majority of the victims, 243, were male and their ages ranged from 3 to 17; they were identified as being from 39 US states and five foreign countries.

The underground subscription-based Web site was allegedly … Read more

NSA can reportedly record every call made in a foreign country

The National Security Agency has the capability to record "100 percent" of the telephone calls placed in a foreign country and play them back up to a month later, according to a report Tuesday by The Washington Post.

Known as MYSTIC, the surveillance system dates back to 2009, according to documents supplied to the newspaper by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The program, which wasn't fully operational until 2011, intercepts and records and stores billions of calls for 30 days on a rolling buffer that purges the oldest recordings as new ones arrive, according to one classified … Read more

Russia blocks access to several Web sites critical of Putin

The Russian government has blocked several Russian Web sites noted for their criticism of President Vladimir Putin and his government.

Russian Internet service providers were ordered Thursday to cut off access to a handful of sites, including those of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and famed chess champion Garry Kasparov, who runs opposition information site kasparov.ru. The order came down from the prosecutor general's office, according to a statement by state regulator Roskomnadzo (Google translation).

"These sites contain incitement to illegal activity and participation in public events held in violation of the established order," the agency said. … Read more

Web inventor's biggest surprise about the Internet? 'Kittens'

Chalk it up to deliciously dry Brit humor or perhaps he really couldn't imagine all of the ways people would come to use the Internet -- hey, the guy is human -- but World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee caught his interlocutors off guard Wednesday during a session on Reddit with this exchange.

"What was one of the things you never thought the Internet would be used for, but has actually become one of the main reasons people use the Internet?" a questioner wrote.

"Kittens," came back the one-word reply.

For a more substantive look … Read more

Massachusetts approves bill to ban upskirt pics

When your legal system shows its skirts to ill effect, you have to cover up the mess.

What is odd is that in Massachusetts, politicians actually sprinted to high velocity to amend a law that, the state's highest court confirmed, allowed upskirt pictures taken with cell phones.

As the Boston Globe reports, the state legislature passed a bill on Thursday that would classify upskirt pictures as plainly illegal.

Senate President Therese Murray told a press conference: "It is sexual harassment. It is an assault on another person. Women and children should be able to go to public places … Read more

TrustyCon's RSA Conference rebels promise more to come

SAN FRANCISCO -- What started as a one-man boycott of the annual RSA Conference here in response to the confab's parent company's ties to the National Security Agency has begun to blossom into a broader movement to reclaim the trust of technology and Internet users.

Alex Stamos, co-organizer of the event -- nicknamed TrustyCon -- and chief technology officer at the security firm Artemis, took the stage in Theater 14 at the AMC Metreon multiplex to explain just why the Trustworthy Computing Conference was needed in the first place. After all, with Security B-Sides earlier in the week, … Read more

British spy agency stored Yahoo Webcam images, report says

The GCHQ, the British surveillance agency akin to the NSA, captured Webcam chat images from millions of Yahoo users, according to a report by The Guardian.

The program, codenamed Optic Nerve, intercepted the images from 2008 to 2010, storing the content in bulk -- meaning it was not a targeted effort, but that it spied on people not accused of any wrongdoing. In a six month period alone, the agency reportedly captured 1.8 million images.

According to secret documents provided to the Guardian by Edward Snowden, the British agency likened the dump of images to a collection of mugshots … Read more

eBay founder lashes out at Carl Icahn

Carl Icahn has officially been told off by eBay's founder, board chairman, and largest shareholder, namely Pierre Omidyar.

In a statement released Thursday, Omidyar accused Icahn of "making unsubstantiated claims" about eBay. He also defended the decision not to spin off the PayPal unit and stood behind the board members targeted in Icahn's attack.

The skirmish between eBay and the activist investor flared up last month after the company rebuffed Icahn's proposal that it jettison PayPal and nominate two of his employees to the board.

In response, Icahn sent an open letter to eBay investors … Read more