Category Archives: Surveillance state

Edward Snowden Testimony at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Snowden’s big messages were familiar: the lack of effective supervision of the US surveillance state, the scope and methods of surveillance, and the ability of citizens to protect themselves if they use strong enough encryption of their data and their communications. But it was striking to see, even in such a formal setting, how seriously European officials took his remarks.


Heartbleed Bug a Catastrophic Hole in Web Security; Webusers Told to Change Passwords

I remember the days when people were worried about using the Internet for purchases because they weren’t convinced their credit card information would be transmitted securely. It now turns out that a version of Open SSL that has been in production for two years, and on which https and other services like instant messaging, e-mail, and other web applications use has a gaping security hole called the Heartbleed bug.


Alain Damasio on the NSA: “701,000 Hours in Custody”

Yves here. Reader Mike M highly recommended what he called “one kick-ass anti-NSA/call to revolt article.” Even though my once-pretty-good French has eroded due to lack of use, from what I could read I agreed and asked for reader help with translation.

Aside from its merit as a stand-alone work, I also thought this article was noteworthy as an indicator of sentiment in France about the Snowden revelations.


Obama Lame Duck Watch: House Democrats Stymieing Trade Deal “Fast Track;” Silicon Valley Surveillance Payoff Language Published

As we discussed earlier, even though there’s abundant evidence that the Administration’s plans to push through its trade deals, the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Transstlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, are in trouble, the official messaging has been to keep pretending that the pacts are still moving forward smartly.


Wolf Richter: NSA Spying Crushes US Tech Companies in Emerging Markets (“An Industry Phenomenon,” Says Cisco’s Chambers)

Cisco CEO John Chambers had a euphemism for it during the first quarter earnings call: the “challenging political dynamics in that country,” that country being China. But then there was India and others, including Russia where NSA leaker Edward Snowden is holed up, and where sales outright collapsed.


Tom Engelhardt: Mistaking Omniscience for Omnipotence

Given how similar they sound and how easy it is to imagine one leading to the other, confusing omniscience (having total knowledge) with omnipotence (having total power) is easy enough. But at the moment, Washington seems to be operating in a world in which the more you know about the secret lives of others, the less powerful you turn out to be.