32 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for November 3, 2013
====== 32 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Sat, 2 Nov 2013 15:30:49 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: No Morsel Too Minuscule for All-Consuming N.S.A. Message-ID: <email@example.com> No Morsel Too Minuscule for All-Consuming N.S.A. By SCOTT SHANE November 2, 2013 When Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, sat down with President Obama at the White House in April to discuss Syrian chemical weapons, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and climate change, it was a cordial, routine exchange. The National Security Agency nonetheless went to work in advance and intercepted Mr. Ban's talking points for the meeting, a feat the agency later reported as an "operational highlight" in a weekly internal brag sheet. It is hard to imagine what edge this could have given Mr. Obama in a friendly chat, if he even saw the N.S.A.'s modest scoop. (The White House won't say.) But it was emblematic of an agency that for decades has operated on the principle that any eavesdropping that can be done on a foreign target of any conceivable interest - now or in the future - should be done. After all, American intelligence officials reasoned, who's going to find out? From thousands of classified documents, the National Security Agency emerges as an electronic omnivore of staggering capabilities, eavesdropping and hacking its way around the world to strip governments and other targets of their secrets, all the while enforcing the utmost secrecy about its own operations. It spies routinely on friends as well as foes, as has become obvious in recent weeks; the agency's official mission list includes using its surveillance powers to achieve "diplomatic advantage" over such allies as France and Germany and "economic advantage" over Japan and Brazil, among other countries. Mr. Obama found himself in September standing uncomfortably beside the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, who was furious at being named as a target of N.S.A. eavesdropping. Since then, there has been a parade of such protests, from the European Union, Mexico, France, Germany and Spain. Chagrined American officials joke that soon there will be complaints from foreign leaders feeling slighted because the agency had not targeted them. James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, has repeatedly dismissed such objections as brazen hypocrisy from countries that do their own share of spying. But in a recent interview, he acknowledged that the scale of eavesdropping by the N.S.A., with 35,000 workers and $10.8 billion a year, sets it apart. "There's no question that from a capability standpoint we probably dwarf everybody on the planet, just about, with perhaps the exception of Russia and China," he said. Since Edward J. Snowden began releasing the agency's documents in June, the unrelenting stream of disclosures has opened the most extended debate on the agency's mission since its creation in 1952. The scrutiny has ignited a crisis of purpose and legitimacy for the N.S.A., the nation's largest intelligence agency, and the White House has ordered a review of both its domestic and its foreign intelligence collection. While much of the focus has been on whether the agency violates Americans' privacy, an issue under examination by Congress and two review panels, the anger expressed around the world about American surveillance has prompted far broader questions. If secrecy can no longer be taken for granted, when does the political risk of eavesdropping overseas outweigh its intelligence benefits? Should foreign citizens, many of whom now rely on American companies for email and Internet services, have any privacy protections from the N.S.A.? Will the American Internet giants' collaboration with the agency, voluntary or otherwise, damage them in international markets? And are the agency's clandestine efforts to weaken encryption making the Internet less secure for everyone? Matthew M. Aid, an intelligence historian and author of a 2009 book on the N.S.A., said there is no precedent for the hostile questions coming at the agency from all directions. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/world/no-morsel-too-minuscule-for-all-consuming-nsa.html?pagewanted=all
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2013 10:01:30 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: FAA allowing most electronic device use throughout flights Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> FAA allowing most electronic device use throughout flights http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/31/travel/faa-portable-electronic-devices/ FAA allowing most electronic device use throughout flights http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/31/faa-gadgets-personal-electronics/3238207/ F.A.A. Moves to Ease Electronics Ban, Opening the Runways to Angry Birds http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/01/business/passengers-to-be-free-to-use-electronics-on-flights-faa-says.html Press Release - FAA to Allow Airlines to Expand Use of Personal Electronics http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=15254
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2013 10:01:30 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Angry Over U.S. Surveillance, Tech Giants Bolster Defenses Message-ID: <email@example.com> Angry Over U.S. Surveillance, Tech Giants Bolster Defenses By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER October 31, 2013 SAN FRANCISCO - Google has spent months and millions of dollars encrypting email, search queries and other information flowing among its data centers worldwide. Facebook's chief executive said at a conference this fall that the government "blew it." And though it has not been announced publicly, Twitter plans to set up new types of encryption to protect messages from snoops. It is all reaction to reports of how far the government has gone in spying on Internet users, sneaking around tech companies to tap into their systems without their knowledge or cooperation. What began as a public relations predicament for America's technology companies has evolved into a moral and business crisis that threatens the foundation of their businesses, which rests on consumers and companies trusting them with their digital lives. So they are pushing back in various ways - from cosmetic tactics like publishing the numbers of government requests they receive to political ones including tense conversations with officials behind closed doors. And companies are building technical fortresses intended to make the private information in which they trade inaccessible to the government and other suspected spies. Yet even as they take measures against government collection of personal information, their business models rely on collecting that same data, largely to sell personalized ads. So no matter the steps they take, as long as they remain ad companies, they will be gathering a trove of information that will prove tempting to law enforcement and spies. When reports of surveillance by the National Security Agency surfaced in June, the companies were frustrated at the exposure of their cooperation with the government in complying with lawful requests for the data of foreign users, and they scrambled to explain to customers that they had no choice but to obey the requests. But as details of the scope of spying emerge, frustration has turned to outrage, and cooperation has turned to war. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/01/technology/angry-over-us-surveillance-tech-giants-bolster-defenses.html
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