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Tagged with “spying” (6)

  1. Anne Neuberger: Inside the NSA - The Long Now

    The NSA reaches out

    Of her eight great-grandparents, seven were murdered at Auschwitz.

    “So my family’s history burned into me a fear of what occurs when the power of a state is turned against its people or other people.”

    Seeking freedom from threats like that brought her parents from Hungary to America.

    By 1976 they had saved up to take their first flight abroad.

    Their return flight from Tel Aviv was high-jacked by terrorists and landed at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.

    Non-Jewish passengers were released and the rest held hostage.

    The night before the terrorists were to begin shooting the hostages, a raid by Israeli commandos saved most of the passengers.

    Anne Neuberger was just a baby in 1976.

    “My life would have looked very different had a military operation not brought my parents home. It gives me a perspective on the threats of organized terror and the role of intelligence and counterterrorism.”

    When she later entered government service, she sought out intelligence, where she is now the principal advisor to the Director for managing NSA’s work with the private sector.

    The NSA, Neuberger said, has suffered a particularly “long and challenging year” dealing with the public loss of trust following the Snowden revelations.

    The agency is reviewing all of its activities to determine how to regain that trust.

    One change is more open engagement with the public.

    “This presentation is a starting point."

    “My family history,” she said, "instilled in me almost parallel value systems – fear of potential for overreach by government, and belief that sometimes only government, with its military and intelligence, can keep civilians safe. Those tensions shape the way I approach my work each day.

    I fully believe that the two seemingly contradictory factors can be held in balance.

    And with your help I think we can define a future where they are.”

    The National Security Agency, she pointed out, actively fosters the growth of valuable new communication and computing technology and at the same time “needs the ability to detect, hopefully deter, and if necessary disable lethal threats.”

    To maintain those abilities over decades and foster a new social contract with the public, Neuberger suggested contemplating 5 tensions, 3 scenarios, and 3 challenges.

    The tensions are…

    1) Cyber Interdependencies (our growing digital infrastructure is both essential and vulnerable); 2) Intelligence Legitimacy Paradox (to regain trust, the NSA needs publicly understood powers to protect and checks on that power); 3) Talent Leverage (“the current surveillance debates have cast NSA in a horrible light, which will further hamper our recruiting efforts”); 4) Personal Data Norms (the growing Internet-of-things—Target was attacked through its air-conditioning network—opens vast new opportunities for tracking individual behavior by the private as well as public sector); 5) Evolving Internet Governance (the so-far relatively free and unpoliticized Internet could devolve into competing national nets).

    Some thirty-year scenarios… 1) Intelligence Debilitated (with no new social contract of trust and thus the loss of new talent, the government cannot keep up with advancing technology and loses the ability to manage its hazards); 2) Withering Nation (privacy obsession hampers commercial activity and government oversight, and nations develop their own conflicting Internets); 3) Intelligent America (new social contract with agreed privacy norms and ongoing security assurance).

    Initiatives under way from NSA…

    1) Rebuild US Trust (move on from “quiet professionals” stance and actively engage the public); 2) Rebuild Foreign Trust (“extend privacy protections previously limited to US citizens to individuals overseas”); 3) Embrace Collective Oversight (reform bulk collection programs in response to the President’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board).

    As technology keeps advancing rapidly, the US needs to stay at the forefront in terms of inventing the leading technical tools to provide public services and maintain public security, plus the policy tools to balance civil liberties with protection against ever-evolving threats.

    “My call to action for everyone in this audience is get our innovative minds focussed on the full set of problems.”

    A flood of QUESTION CARDS came to the stage, only a few of which we could deal with live.

    Anne Neuberger wanted to take all the questions with her to share with NSA colleagues, so Laura Welcher at Long Now typed them up.

    I figure that since the questioners wanted their questions aired on the stage to the live and video audience, they would like to have them aired here as well.

    And it would be in keeping with the NSA’s new openness to public discourse.

    Ms. Neuberger agreed…

    http://longnow.org/seminars/02014/aug/06/inside-nsa/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. Glenn Greenwald’s must-watch 30C3 keynote - Boing Boing

    Yesterday in Hamburg, Glenn Greenwald gave an astounding, must-watch keynote address to the gathered hackers at the 30th Chaos Communications Congress, or 30C3 (Greenwald starts at 4:36). Greenwald excoriated the press for failing to hold the world’s leaders to account, describing what he did with the Snoweden leaks as challenge to the journalistic status quo as well as the political status quo. This is a leaping-off point for an extended riff on the active cooperation between the press and the national security apparatus, an arrangement calculated to give the appearance of oversight on surveillance activities without any such oversight (for example, BBC reporter expressed shock when he said that the role of the press should be to root out lies from senior spies, saying that generals and senior officials would ever lie to the public).

    Greenwald draws a connection between private companies and spying, expressing hope that Internet giants will finally understand that their profitability is endangered by their collaboration with spies. He describes these companies as having "unparalleled power" to curb state spying.

    He exhorted the hackers at 30C3 to do their best to make the Internet as secure for its users as possible, saying that without their contributions, all is lost. He urges them to strike back at Silicon Valley intelligence collaborators like Palantir, who pose as hip and technie to attract bright young people to help with their mission to attack privacy.

    The whole speech is important; it praises Chelsea Manning, Wikileaks, and Daniel Ellsberg, as well as other brave whistelblowers, and said that the Snowden project built on their work. He said that the heavy-handed attacks on whistleblowers by the US government have only revealed the state’s corruption and inspired more insiders to go public.

    Notably, Greenwald revealed that the NSA and GCHQ are spying on in-flight Internet service, something that had not been revealed to date.

    The audio is already on Soundcloud, and I’ve extracted the audio as an MP3 and put it on the Internet Archive (MP3).

    http://boingboing.net/2013/12/28/glenn-greenwalds-must-watch.html

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. Cold War Linguists: The NSA’s Spies of Teufelsberg

    Berlin makes for an interesting backdrop for President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss recent revelations about NSA surveillance. It was there, during the Cold War, that the United States and the Soviet Union focused much of their espionage activity.

    After World War Berlin lay in ruins, its buildings reduced to rubble. The Russians used tons of that rubble, including parts of Hitler’s chancellery, to build a giant war memorial in what would become Soviet East Berlin.

    The Americans created a hill out of their rubble. The artificial hill, built on top of a never-completed Nazi military-technical college, was dubbed Teufelsberg, German for “Devil’s Mountain.” At 260 feet, it was hardly a mountain. But it was tall enough for the NSA to point antennas hundreds of miles into East Germany.

    http://www.theworld.org/2013/06/cold-war-linguists-the-nsa-spies-of-teufelsberg/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. Jon Ronson On… Spying

    Writer and documentary maker Jon Ronson returns for another series of fascinating stories shedding light on the human condition.

    Jon Ronson talks to comedian Josie Long who found herself in a situation where she had to make a choice on whether to spy on someone’s life… did morality step in? Writer Danny Wallace recalls the days when a spy was sent to his home to spy on his father, a leading expert on East German literature.

    Johnny Howorth, rookie documentary maker, was also in a situation where he was asked by US Marshals to spy on the couple Ed and Elaine Brown who were convicted of tax crimes. As he naively got more deeply involved, he feared another Wako and had to make a difficult decision… John Symonds, a so-called ‘romeo spy’ also tells his sometimes shocking story.

    Producers: Laura Parfitt and Simon Jacobs An Unique production for BBC Radio 4.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. Surveillance

    We spy on the new culture of surveillance. Kurt Andersen talks to technologist and philosopher Jaron Lanier about why we have to watch the watchers. An artist meticulously tracks government spy satellites crossing the night sky. A computer scientist explains what goes into building a facial recognition system. And sitting silently in her car, a photographer secretly snaps pictures of strangers in their homes.

    From http://www.studio360.org/episodes/2010/12/17

    —Huffduffed by adactio