Page 2 of 2

A man walks with a cell pone. (Ann Hermes/Christian Science Monitor)

Burner Promotion Shows How Much Phone Numbers Reveal

It can be unsettling to watch a computer spit out your personal information before it even knows your name. Especially when the information appears in a terminal font, superimposed over a map of your area.

That’s probably what you’ll see if you take the Burner Challenge, which uses your phone number to show you just how much information those digits can reveal – everything from names of acquaintances, to lists of old employers, to your current and previous addresses. And it’s all gleaned from public sources.

Read the rest of this article at the Christian Science Monitor …

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. (John Shinkle/Politico)

Will New Senate Intel Committee Leadership Doom NSA, CIA Reform?

The Republican takeover of the Senate after the midterm elections threatens to stall attempts to reform the nation’s surveillance laws and avoid transparency about the CIA’s controversial interrogation program, experts and civil liberties campaigners believe. The changeover could further weaken what some say is already lax oversight of the nation’s intelligence activities, especially on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI).

Read the rest of this article at Al Jazeera America …

Sean Haugh talks in one of his campaign's YouTube videos (Sean Haugh/YouTube)

Pizza Delivery Man for Senate: Delete All the NSA’s Files

Sean Haugh is sitting at the bar in jeans and a t-shirt, holding court about the problems in Washington. Occasionally, he pauses to take a big gulp out of a pint glass emblazoned with a picture of libertarian economist Murray Rothbard. It’s a scene you might not expect to come across at a bar in Durham, N.C., where Haugh lives. It’s also at least slightly bizarre for a campaign ad in a tightly contested race.

Read the rest of this article at Al Jazeera America …

Republican ISIL Fear-Mongering Amplifies Extremists’ Message, Experts Say

In one frame of the video, a masked fighter for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) brandishes a knife, with a beheaded American journalist just beyond view. In another, the Mosque of the Prophet Jonah disappears into a cloud of dust. A crowd of masked gunmen hold Kalashnikovs aloft. Dramatic music plays in the background.

But this isn’t a recruitment video for ISIL. It’s a campaign ad for Allen Weh, who is running against Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., in the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

Read the rest of this article at Al Jazeera America …

(Daniel Hertzberg for The Boston Globe)

New Light on Black Sites: Foreign Courts Crack Down on US-Led Human Rights Abuses

“We tortured some folks.”

President Obama’s words were all the more chilling for their casualness. He was speaking to reporters on Aug. 1 about a Central Intelligence Agency program that disappeared terrorism suspects into secret CIA prisons abroad for “enhanced interrogation.” That program was just one aspect of the post-9/11 global war on terror, an ongoing conflict that also includes the mass surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden over the last year. Both government initiatives share a common thread: They offshore massive human rights abuses.

Read the rest of this article at The Boston Globe …

Edward Snowden (The Guardian)

Looking Back in Anger: One Year of Snowden’s Leaks

One year ago, Russia granted Edward Snowden temporary asylum after a 39-day stay for the NSA whistleblower in the transit zone at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. Snowden had become stranded there while trying to flee to Latin America, where several countries had offered permanent asylum after the U.S. government filed charges against him for making off with thousands of classified documents about its surveillance programs.

Since then, the Snowden story has unfolded in dramatic ways for a nonstop 12 months — as the world reacted to the vast amount of information that his files contained — sparking revelation after revelation about some of the nation’s most cherished secrets. It has also sparked a fierce policy debate over how to make intelligence organizations more accountable.

Read the rest of this article at Al Jazeera America …

NSA Contractors Use LinkedIn Profiles to Cash In on National Security

NSA spies need jobs, too. And that is why many covert programs could be hiding in plain sight.

Job websites such as LinkedIn and Indeed.com contain hundreds of profiles that reference classified NSA efforts, posted by everyone from career government employees to low-level IT workers who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. They offer a rare glimpse into the intelligence community’s projects and how they operate. Now some researchers are using the same kinds of big-data tools employed by the NSA to scrape public LinkedIn profiles for classified programs. But the presence of so much classified information in public view raises serious concerns about security—and about the intelligence industry as a whole.

Read the rest of this article at Al Jazeera America …

The NSA's new data center in Utah (Wired Magazine)

The NSA and Climate Change Spying: What We Know So Far

THE carbon footprint for the new data center the National Security Agency (NSA) is building in the middle of the Utah desert must be massive. Despite its planned LEED Silver certification, the one-million-square-foot, $2-billion facility will draw 65 megawatts of power and use some 1.7 million gallons of water a day to cool its servers, according to Wired Magazine. When it comes to the NSA, however, many environmentalists have much bigger worries.

Read the rest of this article at DeSmogBlog

Gitmo detainee Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel

Terror, Torture and Resistance

When I heard about the Boston Marathon bombings, I’d just finished reading Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel’s harrowing op-ed in the New York Times. Moqbel has been on hunger strike since February to protest his indefinite imprisonment, without trial, at the United States’ detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

My horror and outrage were quickly replaced by shock and terror as news of the bombings raced across my Twitter feed. Almost immediately, I started texting friends in the area to see if they were safe. One was a block away from the finish line when the bombs went off. Another was three blocks away. Two had left the area earlier in the day. Meanwhile, a flood of texts asked if I was safe, some relaying breathless—and thankfully false—rumors about bombs on the T.

Read the rest of this article at the Huffington Post …