GCHQ’s surveillance hasn’t proved itself to be worth the cost to human rights

The release of yet more of Edward Snowden’s leaked files reveals the still-astonishing scale and breadth of government surveillance after more than a year of revelations. These recent papers revealed to The Intercept website discuss a programme within Britain’s GCHQ known as “Karma Police”, in which the intelligence agency gathered more than 1.1 trillion pieces of information on UK citizens between August 2007 and March 2009.

Crowdsourcing Project Cortex

Acting Head of the Government Communication Security Bureau Una Jagose was interviewed by Patrick Gower for this week’s episode of TV3’s The Nation. Much of the Bureau’s work was off limits in the interview (including any discussion of the GCSB’s involvement in any “full-take” capability as part of the US-led Five Eyes network), but Jagose was interviewed at length about Cortex, the Government’s cybersecurity programme.

Assange Claims Australia Has Handed Over Its Sovereignty to Washington

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has slammed Australia for being under the control of Washington, in relation to the country's surveillance program and links to the NSA. "The capital of Australia is [in fact] Washington DC," Assange said, in a clear reference to surveillance cooperation between the two countries.

Assange went even further by arguing that as far as surveillance tactics are concerned, one might as well consider the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia as one country.

Privacy (LOL) and Windows 10

In today’s connected world, maintaining our privacy is an incredibly important topic to each of us, thus we welcome the questions and the feedback we’ve received since launching Windows 10.

Trust is a core pillar of our More Personal Computing vision, and we know we have to earn it. We’ve taken time to expand the documentation on our approach today with this blog, and new content we’re posting today for consumers and IT Pros, designed to complement our One Microsoft Privacy Policy. We look forward to the next round of questions and feedback on these new posts. I assure you that no other company is more committed, more transparent and listening harder to customers on this important topic than we are.

GCHQ tried to track Web visits of “every visible user on Internet”

If you used the World Wide Web anytime after 2007, the United Kingdom's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has probably spied on you. That's the revelation contained in documents published today by The Intercept, which detail a GCHQ operation called "Karma Police"—a program that tracked Web browsing habits of people around the globe in what the agency itself billed as the "world's biggest" Internet data-mining operation, intended to eventually track "every visible user on the Internet."

U.S. Uncovers Kim Dotcom’s Self-incriminating Skype Calls

VIA TORRENTFREAK: After several years' delay the extradition hearing of Kim Dotcom finally got moving this morning in the Auckland District Court. Characterizing the case as one of straightforward fraud, Crown lawyer Christine Gordon QC likened Megaupload to a post office shipping drugs, one in which its owners were well aware of their cargo.

Following efforts to have his extradition hearing delayed, on Tuesday Kim Dotcom learned that the process would go ahead today as planned.

This morning all parties were present in the Auckland District Court for a hearing that will determine whether Dotcom and co-defendants Mathias Ortmann, Finn Batato and Bram van der Kolk will be extradited to the United States to face charges of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering.

On October 13, the mandatory data retention scheme in Australia goes live

Law enforcement and Intelligence agencies will have immediate, warrantless and accumulating access to all information required to be retained by law, and ISPs and telcos that choose to disagree can be penalised for $2 million for non-compliance.

Baker & McKenzie’s Fair told Fairfax Media a person’s metadata can be reviewed at any time by agencies without that person’s knowledge and it might be used for or against you in court.

“The issue here is not so much the weaknesses in the Privacy Act but the lack of real time supervision and accountability of law enforcement and national security agencies. Our supervisory regime is weak and unlikely to ensure proper use of the extensive data soon to be kept,” Fair said.

AVG Proudly Announces It Will Sell Your Browsing History to Online Advertisers

AVG, the Czech antivirus company, has announced a new privacy policy in which it boldly and openly admits it will collect user details and sell them to online advertisers for the purpose of continuing to fund its freemium-based products.

This new privacy policy is slated to come into effect starting October 15, and the company has published a blog post explaining the decision to go this route, along with the full privacy policy's content, so users can read it in advance and decide on their own if they want to use its services or not.

The US Government Pressured a Small Local Library to Turn Off Its Tor Server

The Department of Homeland Security pressured a small New Hampshire library to turn off a Tor node it recently installed, according to Julia Angwin writing yesterday in ProPublica.

The middle relay for the Tor anonymity network was a pilot installed by the Library Freedom Project in mid-July as part of its project to install Tor exit nodes, which power the network, in public libraries across America.

The Kilton Public Library in Lebanon, New Hampshire agreed to be the first library in the nation to contribute bandwidth to the Tor network. By helping citizens access the internet with a layer of privacy not afforded to the regular web, the Tor browser supports many librarians' mission of improving access to information for everyone.

US War Theories Target Dissenters

In the Orwellian world of Official Washington, the U.S. government is now wedded to the theory of “information warfare,” meaning that Americans who challenge national security policy may be treated as “unprivileged belligerents” under the new Law of War doctrine, retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce writes.

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