Privacy: Spam, Spies and SMS: How it works

28 December 2021 — True Publica

By Crofton Black: Need to verify your identity on a phone? Reset a password? Log in to a sensitive site or account? You’ll probably get a text message to check who you are. But it won’t come directly from your account provider. Instead, it will come via one or more middlemen: little-known bulk messaging companies that use the access they’ve brokered to hundreds of phone networks to send millions of messages cheaply and quickly around the world.

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Meet Toka, the Most Dangerous Israeli Spyware Firm You’ve Never Heard Of

21 July 2021 — MintPress News

LONDON – This past Sunday, an investigation into the global abuse of spyware developed by veterans of Israeli intelligence Unit 8200 gained widespread attention, as it was revealed that the software – sold to democratic and authoritarian governments alike – had been used to illegally spy on an estimated 50,000 individuals. Among those who had their communications and devices spied on by the software, known as Pegasus, were journalists, human rights activists, business executives, academics and prominent political leaders. Among those targeted political leaders, per reports, were the current leaders of France, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Iraq.

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U.S. Takes Down Israeli Spy Software Company

19 July 2021 — Moon of Alabama

A number of international papers report today on the Israeli hacking company NSO which sells snooping software to various regimes. The software is then used to hijack the phones of regime enemies, political competition or obnoxious journalists. All of that was already well known but the story has new legs as several hundreds of people who were spied on can now be named.

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Examining the Stasi, Seeing the NSA

22 March 2021 — Consortium News

From the Archives: For many years, the East German Stasi was viewed as the most totalitarian of intelligence services, relentlessly spying on its citizens during the Cold War. But the Stasi’s capabilities pale in comparison to what the NSA can now do, notes former U.S. intelligence analyst Elizabeth Murray.

By Elizabeth Murray
Special to Consortium News
Feb. 3, 2015

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U.S. Warms Up Old Spy Story To Warn Of Foreign Espionage

11 February 2020 — Moon of Alabama

The Washington Post is warming up an old crypto story:

For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret.

The company, Crypto AG, got its first break with a contract to build code-making machines for U.S. troops during World War II. Flush with cash, it became a dominant maker of encryption devices for decades, navigating waves of technology from mechanical gears to electronic circuits and, finally, silicon chips and software.

The Swiss firm made millions of dollars selling equipment to more than 120 countries well into the 21st century. Its clients included Iran, military juntas in Latin America, nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, and even the Vatican.

But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence. These spy agencies rigged the company’s devices so they could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages.

The decades-long arrangement, among the most closely guarded secrets of the Cold War, is laid bare in a classified, comprehensive CIA history of the operation obtained by The Washington Post and ZDF, a German public broadcaster, in a joint reporting project.

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COPS campaign update April 2018

29 April 2018 — COPS

It’s been a busy month of revelations abour Britain’s political secret police. Here’s a rundown:

The Met finally admitted that Special Branch officers illegally supplied info on political activists for construction industry blacklisting. Activists have long shown that spycops officer Mark Jenner was a member of construction union UCATT, and whistleblower officer Peter Francis has named five trade unions that were spied on.
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For an international coalition to fight Internet censorship

23 January 2018 — WSWS

An open letter from the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site to socialist, anti-war, left-wing and progressive websites, organizations and activists

The United States government, in the closest collaboration with Google, Facebook, Twitter and other powerful information technology corporations, is implementing massive restrictions on Internet access to socialist, antiwar and progressive websites. Similar repressive policies are being enacted by capitalist governments in Europe and throughout the world.

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NSA: National Security Agency Tracking of U.S. Citizens – “Questionable Practices” from 1960s & 1970s

26 September 2017 — National Security Archive

Ralph David Abernathy, Donald Sutherland, Women’s Liberation, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War – Among Those on NSA’s Watch List

NSA Biographic Files Named 73,000 U.S. Citizens, from Journalists Art Buchwald and Tom Wicker to Actors Joanne Woodward and Gregory Peck

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 605 

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China’s Cyberspying Is ‘on a Scale No One Imagined’–if You Pretend NSA Doesn’t Exist

4 August 2015 — FAIR

NSA headquartersStories about cyberespionage–like the data theft at the US Office of Personal Management believed but not officially stated to have been carried out by China–are weird. For one thing, they include quotes about how “we need to be a bit more public” about our responses to cyberattacks–delivered from White House officials who speak only on condition of anonymity.

That’s from a July 31 piece by the New York Times‘ David Sanger, which, as Marcy Wheeler of the blog Emptywheel (8/1/15) pointed out, had a certain amount of fiction mixed in with its reporting.

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Britain’s GCHQ Domestic Spying Apparatus to be granted Greater Surveillance Powers after Paris Attacks By Steven MacMillan

13 January 2014 — Global Research

Following the tragic events in Paris, David Cameron is meeting with security heads to potentially grant the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) even greater spying powers. In a disgusting (yet predictable) move by Cameron and fellow Western leaders, these latest attacks are being used as a justification for illegal GCHQ and National Security Agency (NSA) spying, and as a pretext to further expand the surveillance state which is already at heights never seen before in human history. This is the first time that governments have had the capacity and technological capability to monitor the behaviour, conversations, opinions and habits of the people on such a grand scale, in a quest to predict the behaviour of entire populations.

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United Nations report: US, UK surveillance programs violate international law By Thomas Gaist

18 July 2014 — WSWS

A report released Wednesday by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Navi Pillay, entitled “The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age”, finds that surveillance practices carried out by the major powers, the United States and the United Kingdom, in particular, violate basic principles of international law and are destructive of democratic rights.

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Airport security agency bans powerless electronic devices on flights to US By Thomas Gaist

10 July 2014 — WSWS

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began implementing a policy this week barring international air travelers en route to the US from bringing uncharged or “powerless” electronic devices onboard their flights. The new restriction is one element of heightened airport security measures announced by the US government last week in accordance with its latest “terror alert.”

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REVEALED: GCHQ’s BEYOND TOP SECRET Middle Eastern INTERNET SPY BASE By Duncan Campbell

3 June 2014 — The Register

Snowden leaks that UK.gov suppressed Exclusive Above-top-secret details of Britain’s covert surveillance programme – including the location of a clandestine British base tapping undersea cables in the Middle East – have so far remained secret, despite being leaked by fugitive NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden. Government pressure has meant that some media organisations, despite being in possession of these facts, have declined to reveal them. Today, however, the Register publishes them in full.

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Drone Wars: Surveying the Home Front By Chris Cole

25 May 2014 — Drone Wars UKStatewatch

uk_drone_base_protest_siStatewatch and Drone Wars UK are co-publishing a new report into the use of unmanned drones in UK airspace. Back from the Battlefield: Domestic Drones in the UK written by Chris Jones of Statewatch examines the current use of drones in UK airspace by public and private bodies looking in particular at their use by police and border control authorities. The report argues that it is essential for widespread debate, discussion and democratic decision-making on the issue of ‘domestic’ drones in order to establish acceptable limits on their deployment and use by public authorities, private companies and individuals.

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