Author Topic: Obama ♦ Think your data is safe in an EU cloud NSA will raid your servers  (Read 784 times)

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Offline thaiga

Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers

But US govt shouldn't be 'f**king' with crypto algorithms

A former White House security advisor has suggested that you, dear reader, are naive if you think hosting data outside of the US will protect a business from the NSA.

"NSA and any other world-class intelligence agency can hack into databases even if they not in the US," said former White House security advisor Richard Clarke in a speech at the Cloud Security Alliance summit in San Francisco on Monday. "Non-US companies are using NSA revelations as a marketing tool."

Clarke was also a member of the intelligence review group set up by President Obama in 2013 to scrutinize Uncle Sam's spying operations and come up with surveillance techniques that won't unnerve the entire world. He also served as a special advisor on cyber security for former US president George Bush.

In his speech at the CSA, Clarke claimed that it "makes sense for some governments to wave the bloody flag of the NSA scandal ... they want localization so local companies can do better against international companies."

And indeed, European governments are making moves to keep more data within the EU.

In January, a non-binding draft European Parliament report urged the EU to consider suspending Safe Habor data-sharing agreements with the US, and that the EU should further investigate developing its own pan-European storage cloud.

Following this, German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week backed a number of initiatives to protect German and EU data from American snoops, such as restricting IT suppliers for government contracts, or building more communications infrastructure to keep data transmissions on the Continent.

These moves come amid growing criticism of NSA practices by European governments, and an increasingly unnerved citizenry.

But far from protecting against spying, Clarke indicated that these schemes are more about giving EU companies an edge, than protecting Joe Citizen from surveillance.

"When you think of data localization, don't buy the argument that is being pushed by privacy considerations – it's being pushed by the bottom line," he said. "If you think passing a law making data localization a requirement in the EU or Brazil [...] stops the NSA from getting into those databases, think again."

A shorter summary of Clarke's speech about the trouble facing firms that compete with US firms and may therefore come into the crosshairs of the NSA is: "Damned if you do, damned if you don't".

One way to build trust between nations and let everyone get on with spying in the national interest – broadly, protecting citizens at home and abroad from physical harm – would be for the US to provide better assurances around security, he said.

"The United States government has to get out of the business – if it were ever in the business – has to get out of the business of in my opininion superb with encryption standards," Clarke said. ®

theregister.co.uk
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
 

Offline thaiga

Re: Obama tweaks NSA spying
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2014, 10:27:12 AM »
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama put forward a long-awaited plan Thursday to end the US government's bulk collection of telephone records, aiming to defuse a controversy over surveillance on millions of Americans.

Responding to a global outcry over the National Security Agency's extensive eavesdropping programs, Obama's plan would require telephone companies to hold data for the same length of time they currently do, with government agencies allowed to access it with court approval.

The formal announcement represents the president's proposals to reform procedures at the NSA, which was rocked by disclosures about its activities in documents leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

"I have decided that the best path forward is that the government should not collect or hold this data in bulk," Obama said in a White House statement.

Obama said his plan, which needs congressional approval, would tread a line that allows the government to conduct surveillance to thwart terror attacks while also addressing the public's privacy concerns.

But civil liberties groups said the president's proposals on data collection failed to answer key details and they were skeptical if substantive changes would occur.

- 'Emergency' exceptions -

The White House said the NSA would need a court order to access the data, except in "an emergency situation" it did not define.

In those circumstances, the court would be asked to approve requests based on specific telephone numbers "based on national security concerns," it added.

"This approach will best ensure that we have the information we need to meet our intelligence needs while enhancing public confidence in the manner in which the information is collected and held," Obama said.

Because the new plan would not be in place by a March 28 expiration date, the president said he would seek a 90-day reauthorization of the existing program from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, with some modifications he ordered in January.

"I am confident that this approach can provide our intelligence and law enforcement professionals the information they need to keep us safe while addressing the legitimate privacy concerns that have been raised," he said.

A trove of disclosures by Snowden, now a fugitive granted temporary exile in Russia, resulted in widespread condemnation of spying efforts at home and abroad, given the vast capabilities of America's intelligence programs.

Officials have defended the methods as necessary to thwart attacks on US and foreign soil, but the sheer scope of the NSA's domestic activities divided opinion.

"We hope the Congress can act swiftly," a senior US official said in a conference call explaining the plan.

A fact sheet released by the White House said that if the plan were implemented, "absent an emergency situation, the government would obtain the records only pursuant to individual orders from the FISC approving the use of specific numbers for such queries, if a judge agrees based on national security concerns."

- Unsatisfied critics -

Obama provided an outline for his plan earlier this week, eliciting guarded optimism from privacy and civil liberties activists, but Thursday's announcement left many NSA critics unsatisfied.

Amie Stepanovich at the digital rights group Access said Obama's plan is "a significant step forward," but "fails to address many of the problems with US government surveillance policies and programs, such as the double standard for citizens and those outside of the United States."

Obama's plan "does not go nearly far enough," David Segal of Demand Progress said, calling for measures to protect people's email and Internet communications.

And Alex Abdo at the American Civil Liberties Union said the planned changes could still allow surveillance to "balloon out of control."

"One of the most important details is whether we continue to allow the government to engage in the suspicionless surveillance of innocent Americans," Abdo said in a statement.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers this week proposed a plan similar to the president's, but some activists are pushing for deeper reforms to limit mass surveillance.

bangkokpost
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
 

Offline Johnnie F.

I like this pic:

Fun is the one thing that money can't buy
 

 



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